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Things to Know if Your Child is Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder

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Samyak Lalit
Samyak Lalit | December 25, 2020 (Last update: June 13, 2021)

Samyak Lalit is an author and disability rights activist. He is a polio survivor and the founder of projects like Kavita Kosh, Gadya Kosh, TechWelkin, WeCapable, Dashamlav and Viklangta Dot Com. Website: www.lalitkumar.in

According to data, one in every 59 children in America is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). We are sharing this data just to make you understand that YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Of course, we understand it is easier said than done. But, if a child has been diagnosed, or shows symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder, the best option for the parents is to get ready to fight the battle along with their child.

This article will equip you with the knowledge and motivation to cope with the situation. How you respond in this situation will determine the course of your child’s life.

1. Let the information sink in

Getting the information about your child being affected by a mental disorder can be emotionally disturbing. It can generate the feelings of confusion, stress, sadness, anger and sometimes parents also go in denial mode.

Instead, the first thing you need to do is absorb and accept the fact that your child is one of the many children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. At this point, we are not telling you to be positive or anything like that… just accept the reality of life.

2. Take care of yourself

This might sound counter-intuitive, but it is not. It would be easier for you to take care of and support your child when you are in good physical and mental condition. Take your time to talk about your feelings with your spouse or a family member with whom you feel comfortable. If you don’t want to talk, you can simply write down whatever you’re feeling. This will help in clearing your head of any confusing emotions. Feeling sad or stressed in such a situation is normal. Don’t force yourself to be a super-human. Being sad at some point does not make you a negative person.

autism spectrum disorder asd

3. Gather Information

Once you have accepted the reality it is time for you to understand your child’s condition. Gather information about your child’s diagnosed condition. While gathering your information, don’t limit yourself to the scientific explanation of the condition. In fact, practical tips about dealing with the condition and living a life with ASD is very much important. Read about famous personalities who lived with Autism and excelled in their fields. This will not only give you the motivation but also the practical tips for taking care of your child’s special needs.

4. Talk to Your Child

Remember, you and your child are a team player in your relay-race against ASD. You need to pass on the baton to your child. You understand your child better, so it is up to you how you will communicate this with your child. But, you must make your child aware that s/he is different from most of the children of their age. While talking to your child, make sure to explain that they are no worse (or better) than anyone… they are just different. If your child is grown up enough to understand, tell them stories of the people who were different and how they used their difference to make a mark in history. (Tell stories but do not put the burden of expectation on your child to be a special or over-achiever)

5. Learn to Speak-up for Your Child

Society is not very much informed or aware of mental disorders. So, people with any form of mental disorder are ridiculed or bullied. This can have an aggravating effect on a child with autism who does not feel comfortable around people in any social setting. Before your child is trained to speak up for themselves, you need to be their advocate in such social settings. You need to learn to speak up for your child and create awareness among your close social circle.

Clear Information on Autism.

6. Promote Your Child’s Positive Behavior

Autistic children, like any other child, respond well to positive reinforcement. As you already know that your child is different, stop comparing them with any other child of their age. Pay attention to your child’s activities and specifically praise their positive action. If you dislike something, just tell them that you would prefer them not to repeat the behavior.

7. Expose Your Child to the Outer World

When your child does not feel comfortable going out, it is natural for you to see your home as the safest place. But, exposing your child to the outer world is very necessary to make them confident and comfortable around people. So, take your child with yourself at least to nearby places like a park or a local grocery store.

Always remember, dealing with a condition like Autism Spectrum Disorder is not a sprint but a marathon. You’ll need to learn, unlearn and re-learn many techniques to make your child able to survive and excel in this fast-paced world. Your emotional response to any situation will affect your child the most.

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"Things to Know if Your Child is Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder." Wecapable.com. Web. July 13, 2024. <https://wecapable.com/child-diagnosed-with-autism-spectrum-disorder-asd/>

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