For most parents once your child is diagnosed with Autism, it may feel as though your world has been shattered. This diagnosis can be confusing due to its vague nature as a “spectrum disorder”. The definition of a spectrum order is simply that there is a range of neurological disorders that involve some degree of issues like obsessions, repetitive nature and interpersonal difficulties. The term “spectrum” simply indicates there can be a wide range of effects for these issues. The best thing to remember during this process is that each case is specific, from the diagnosis to how your child responds to treatment. The best course of action to take is to be armed with information.
This diagnosis can leave parents feeling scared, isolated and confused about how to deal with their own children. This certainly does not have to be the case. Finding support in this journey is the first step in easing into this diagnosis. There are many other parents struggling with similar issues needing the same support. Getting the direction to these support groups may seem like it’s too early but it’s not. Having open and honest conversations about fears, anxiety and confusion may help find answers to deal with similar issues. Try to find support that will help manage family life that is the key in this diagnosis. Maintaining a family strength and keeping the family unit in tact will help transition through this tough time.
When the diagnosis is over, it can put a lot of the thoughts and fears into explanations for certain behavior. What it cannot do is tell parents how to connect with their children. Partially during the diagnosis time, one of the major struggles can be the inability to connect with ones own child. It is important to connect with the child, but the key here is to learn how to connect on his or her level. Learning how to interpret actions and behaviors is a key part of the diagnosis. Work with a behavioral therapist early on in order to become aware of expectations and limitations. Learning how to build communication will be one of the biggest hurdles to overcome.
Emotions can be alarming at this time with so much changing and so much information to absorb. Learning how to function daily is what the focus should be on. It can be easy to become overwhelmed and not know how to handle situations. This is why it must be a priority for the entire family to become involved in the learning process. The more people willing to learn provides a larger support network for the family. While books can be a great source for information, other parents will provide a different experience altogether. Life as the child and then parents know it will be different after the diagnosis, however once the diagnosis is issued, knowing how to handle it will be much easier. It will take time and patience but learning about spectrum disorders will put things into perspective for healing to begin.