Sunday, September 5, 2010

Autism: The Importance of Diagnosis

Many times parents of a child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder are overwhelmed with the diagnosis. Coming from the parent of a child with Autism, this is the most critical period to explore and start to deal with the diagnosis.

Gaining information about the diagnosis and the options open to our children is the first and the quickest way to get help for our children. Even though every child with Autism is different knowing the choices is comforting and gives us focus.

Parents of children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder are sometimes confused and scared by the various descriptions they read about children with ASD. It is very important to remember that even though some descriptions will be exactly on target that does not mean every description will come true.

Part of the journey is to also learn what, if any, co-occurring diagnoses our children have. These diagnoses will have characteristics which may complicate the Autism diagnosis. Parents want to be able to figure out what is considered normal for a child their child’s age.

This gives up the experience of the typical joys and frustrations of typical parents. By the same token knowing the other characteristics will help parents find the help they need. Although in the beginning it seems so confusing that we will never figure it out, this is not true.

As time goes on and as parents learn that there is no one right answer, we find what helps our children. Knowing the choices is the first step. Autism Spectrum Disorders not only affect how a child experiences their life, it also affects how they learn from their life.

Our child with Autism does not seem crave our contact and attention the way another child does. This does not mean they do not need us and want us. Our jobs almost become detectives in learning as much as we can handle as fast as we can handle it.

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