Autism is a spectrum disorder which encompasses a broad range of behavioral and cognitive issues. For parents, having a child with Autism presents unique and sometimes frustrating challenges. It can sometimes take a long time to have a child tested and diagnosed because the parent is in denial about the condition or unaware that associated behaviors are different than a typically developing child.
A diagnosis of autism can be a very difficult thing to cope with. If you have proper help, guidance and support, raising child with Autism can be an experience that can change the way you view the world.
Coping with Feelings
Many parents react to a diagnosis of Autism in their child with fear, anger and deep concern. Such feelings are not directed at their children, but at themselves. What will they do? How can they adjust their parenting? What if they do something wrong?
It is important to acknowledge and process these feelings. This is the first step in moving forward. Know that it is enough that you love your child, and the diagnosis is neither their fault nor yours.
As you process your feelings, work with your child’s psychologist to develop a plan of action and get going immediately. Stay focused and on task. The sooner you are able to act, the better off you and your child will be. Early diagnosis can help to give direction and point you towards education.
You should also plan for financial challenges ahead. Depending on the severity of the case, there could be significant treatment costs and not all may be covered by insurance.
Talk to your psychologist and seek education about the autism spectrum, with a focus of where on the spectrum your child falls. Every child with Autism is unique and requires a different approach. Some high-functioning chlidren with Autism go on to college and achieve doctorates. Others require assistance with basic social interactions.
There are many books, websites and other resources for parents coping with their child’s Autism diagnosis. Schools may have programs for children with special needs. Your psychologist can assist you with accessing resources. Remember, education is what arms you for the challenges ahead.
Love Is All You Need
As you begin the process of raising a child with Autism, remember that with love and patience you can persevere. Seek help when you need it, and cherish the successes. Adjust your perceptions to view the world through your child’s eyes. You may find that it is a rewarding experience to raise a child with such a unique perspective on life.
If you think your child may fall on the autism spectrum, you will want to find proper care for their needs. If you are looking for a child psychologist in Edmonton, ABC Psychological Services is here to help with advice, assessment and treatment. Give us a call for a consultation today!