When your child is diagnosed with autism, your life is going to be changed forever. The diagnosis itself can be intimidating, and you will likely feel scared, upset, and maybe even angry. You’ll be unsure of what to do or who to turn to, and this will only make your distress worse. However, as time passes, you’ll learn a lot, and will understand that caring for a child with autism isn’t really scary at all. Of course, you’ll have your moments, but you’ll grow from them, and become even better at handling certain situations. But, for now, it’s understandable that your future feels uncertain. To make your life a little easier and give you some guidance, here are nine things that you should or shouldn’t do after receiving an autism diagnosis.Image
Don’t Doubt Your Faith
A lot of parents first question to themselves when given the diagnosis is “why?” Unfortunately, there is no answer for this, and the last thing that you want to be doing is starting to doubt your faith in God. Your child doesn’t have autism because you haven’t followed the laws of your faith to the letter or because your God just doesn’t exist. If you believe in God, now is the time to turn to them and ask for guidance, not come to the conclusion that they’re complete fiction.
Do Take Some Time
An autism diagnosis is intimidating, I admit, but don’t start freaking out the second you receive it. Instead, allow yourself some time to process the news. Rather than jump to conclusions, ask lots of questions, and find out as much information as you can. You can also go home and do some research of our own, to wrap your head around it. For some parents, receiving a diagnosis is even a relief, as it provides an answer for their child’s behavior.
Don’t Use Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms
Having a child with autism is going to be difficult at times, and you may feel like you are completely alone and have no one to turn to. When this happens, the last thing that you should do is adopt unhealthy coping mechanisms like stress eating or drinking alcohol. If you have and need help, a rehabilitation center can provide this. Meditation and exercise are highly recommended methods for coping with stress.
Do Ask For Help
When you receive your diagnosis, you may find that some friends stop coming around as often. This is because they just don’t understand the meltdowns, the jargon, and the need for routine. When this happens, it’s understandable that you would feel alone, but you aren’t. There are plenty of people who have walked in your shoes and understand the struggles of having a child with autism. Online groups and blogs are a great help, but you may have a support group in your area that you can visit.
Don’t Feel Sorry For Yourself
It’s completely understandable that you’re scared and confused, but don’t allow these feelings to turn into self-pity. At the end of the day, your child is still the bundle of joy that you know and love. If you stop and think for a second, you’ll realize that compared to some of the tragedies many other parents have to go through, your child having autism really isn’t that bad. Of course, life might be a little tougher for you, but at least your son or daughter is still around to keep you busy.