A Parent Of A Child Recently Diagnosed With Autism?

Nadia Shanab | autism, general advice, parenting, tips
4 Jun 2015

You have just been told the final word: “your child has autism”.  Now all the doubts have vanished, suspicions are confirmed, and confusion took over to rule your mind. You are probably shocked, mad, you have tens of questions chasing you, you are simply feeling lost.

Now sadness, depression, and anxiety will follow in line.

In a later stage the feeling of guilt, self blame, shame, disputes with your partner, will start haunting your life.

Grieving takes its course, it is unstoppable, no matter what.

The dreams you’ve had for your child are now compromised.

This is the typical progression of parents’ emotional, psychological, and mental state once the diagnosis has been declared.

It is easy to give up on your dreams and become a passive and negative parents. But the price to pay for this choice is pretty high.

What to do now?

From real life experiences and first hand interactions, the most valuable advice I can give you here is: Early intervention! Early intervention! Early intervention!

You think it’s easier said than done. Not at all! There is so much to do!

Yes! Don’t panic or procrastinate!

If you haven’t figured out yet how to handle the situation, this is the fastest and safest think to do right away:

  • Get your child busy by engaging her in both, a physical and mental activity that she LOVES to do.
  • Put her brain to work to help her build the habit of processing data, looking for solutions, and keep making choices.
  • Every child has a favorite subject or game or toy. Build a story or a project around her favorite thing or topic. Model the activity before her to give a solid example.
  • Engage as many senses as possible while working on a project. Listening to the music while doing art projects is helpful.
  • Your purpose is to make your child use her senses and interact with her environment.
  • Talk to her even if she was non-verbal, don’t think she’s not listening or trying to communicate. She is actually working her mind to reach out to you.
  • The presence of animals has an amazing relaxing and calming effect on kids with autism.
  • When the little fingers get busy, it’s a sign that the brain has been actively working.
  • Assign a few house chores for her to do! This will Breed trust and self confidence.
  • Doing a physical activity or even breathing exercises is so beneficial for the mind and body.
  • Take a walk to the local park, and guide her to interact with other kids or adults.
  • Make a simple visual schedule everyday to teach her discipline and organizational skills.
  • Start making some social stories pertinent to the concept you want her to learn, and share with her.
  • But the worst thing to do is to let your child sit in a corner being idle and not participating in any kind of activities. This is the perfect recipe for regression.

As a parent you will feel much better by being positive, proactive, and productive.

The journey is long, and the progress will happen one step at a time, sometimes one leap at time. The more you contribute to your child’s active life, the faster the progress.

Summer is a great time to plan for what’s in the child’s best interest to do. No rush, no strict schedules, no pressure!!!

Shortly I’ll talk about the choices you can make to draft a good plan for your child’s future.

Most importantly, take care of yourself because you are the most important asset for your child.

nadia shanab

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