Many parents report mixed feelings following an autism diagnosis – hope, sadness, relief, guilt. It is important to remember that your child is the same person they have always been. The difference is that the family has a better understanding of their needs and how to support them.
After an evaluation, parents are encouraged to educate themselves more about autism. This helps parents understand how autism impacts their child’s behavior and how to interact with them.
Parents are often encouraged to seek services or therapies to support their child. This can include Speech/Language Therapy, Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA), Occupational Therapy, or other Physical Therapy. Social skills groups offer valuable opportunities to develop the skills needed to engage with others in an appropriate manner.
It is also suggested that parents share diagnosis information with school staff and family members. This can produce additional support at school and from the extended family.
Self-care is especially important for parents, who tend to experience more stress than parents dealing with other disabilities. It is important that parents “recharge their own batteries” to be better able to help their child. This includes nourishing themselves emotionally, mentally, and physically. Seeking balance between caring for their child and themselves helps maintain a higher quality of life.