Our family has been through a total of 3 autism diagnosis, two of which were just 6 weeks a part! Through out our personal journey, and helping others, we have had one very common question. What do you do after an autism diagnosis?
When our son received his diagnosis, I thought I was prepared. In reality, I was far from prepared. Add in the fact that our youngest daughter received her diagnosis just six weeks later, you can imagine the whirlwind I was in!
You spend months preparing and waiting to received an autism diagnosis. So it’s not hard to imagine that you wouldn’t be prepared for after part. So today, we are going to go over what to do after and autism diagnosis.
What to do after an autism diagnosis
Ask for help
For some parents and caregivers, this one is easy. For me though, it is so hard to ask for help! I want to do it all myself, but have learned that’s just not possible. You are not any less of a parent because you asked for help.
If you need help, ask someone to babysit other children during appointments, help you during therapy and doctor appointment, or anything at all. Seriously, remember that it’s okay to ask for help!
Keep a detailed Calendar
Whether it is the google calendar in your phone or a full planner, keep it with you and use it often. You will wind up with a ton of appointments with different doctors and therapist. It is very easy to lose track of all these or double book.
Use a planner! I carry in the diaper bag that I use for everything. In the evening (once everyone is asleep and there is some quiet) I go in and add appointments into google calendar so I have an actual alarm go off. This has been a huge help! Let’s face it, no one wants a missed appointment fee!
Don’t be afraid of the diagnosis
This one is huge. You’re child is the same sweet child you gave birth to. The same child that walked into that office without a diagnosis and came out with one. You’re life will change some, but now in a positive direction. That diagnosis will help your child (and you) get the resources they need to thrive.
Connect with other parents
As parents with autistic children, it is very easy to become reclusive. Disconnecting with the world around you is quite the opposite of what you want to do though. If you can get into a local group, that is awesome.
Sometimes, actually getting somewhere can be difficult. For that reason, there are a ton of support groups online and through Facebook that you can join. You can ask questions, read others stories, and make new friends from wherever you are.
You are your child’s best advocate. Learn everything you can about autism. Books, trusted websites, your local school district, and the doctor’s office are all great sources of information.
Take advice from the doctor, not your in-laws
Your family means well, but they are not the experts. Down the road, suggestions are great. As of now, don’t be afraid to tell friends and family what you actually need. Let them know you need their support in following the doctor’s recommendations.
Christmas & Birthdays are hard!
Our first diagnosis was two weeks before a birthday. The other was two weeks before Christmas. I say this from experience, birthday’s and holidays are hard! The noise, the new sites, and wrapping paper every where will likely trigger a meltdown from your child.
Family will buy gifts that your child has no interest in and your child may have no interest in opening presents. Make sure to have a calm place for your child to go and unwind when they get overwhelmed. (Send them to this link for gift items for autistic children)
Make time for you, your spouse, and other kids
This is one of the most important. An autism diagnosis (or two) comes with its fair share of stresses. Though you need to focus on helping your child with autism, you also need to keep your other focuses on tract too.
Continue building your other relationships, showing your other children just as much compassion, and take care of you. If you do not take care of you, then you won’t be able to focus on anyone else.
There Ya Go!
This is just a starting point for what to do after an autism diagnosis. This is the beginning of a life long journey! We’d love to have you continue your journey alongside ours! Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter to get the lats=est posts!