10 Things You Can do to Help a Family Whose Child Has Been Diagnosed with Autism

Community - posted on 02/11/2011 ( 34 moms have responded )

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Below is an except of a great article shared with Circle of Moms from author Kym Grosso at Psychology Today:

It has been estimated that the prevalence of autism in the United States is 1 out of every 110 births1. So it is of no surprise that many of us know or will know a friend or family member who has a child with autism.

When a child is first diagnosed, parents often scramble to find appropriate autism services, doctors, schools and therapists. What we don't always anticipate is that relationships with friends, family and neighbors often change. Some will stand by our side, doing what they can to help and embrace our child no matter the diagnosis. However, some people will either sit quietly on the sidelines or abandon the relationship altogether.

So what happens when you find out that your friend, family member or neighbor has a child who has been diagnosed with autism? How can you help your friend? How can you help their child? There are many ways you can assist a friend from talking to offering a playdate. Here are 10 things you can do to help a family whose child has been diagnosed with autism...

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/auti...

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Mary - posted on 02/16/2011

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Why is it that when you get a diagnosis of Autism people will say, " well he's only on the spectrum so its not true Autism." Or they say he/she doesn't seem like it. " I didn't know there was a set set of requierments that the public get to make up for you kid to be Autistic??? I love the way family try's to keep it closed up, and doesn't tell other family members, "because they don't need to know." Ya they do, especially if we are going to visit or they are coming to visit.

Maria Theresa - posted on 08/10/2012

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We are in the process of drawing up blueplans for a housing development for autistic adults so they can be fully supported in the community..................anyone else interested?

Christy - posted on 01/24/2012

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I don't understand when you are at the store and you have people look at you like they are disgusted because they don't know that your child is autistic and when they are unhappy you can't just quiet them down. I have tried telling people that when my daughter throws a fit at the store but they don't get it.

Tammy - posted on 12/03/2011

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My son who is three has been recently diagnosed, and we have been running with appointments and such as OT, Speech, ABA, doctor's appointments and everything. I find the scariest thing about the diagnosis is the question "What does my son's future looks like" Some days I wake up with the attitude what will be will be, other days I try to think how we can change and help predict the future. Now about six months pass the diagnostic mark..I'm leaning towards doing everything we can possibly do for my son, like structuring an environment that he can know what the day entails for him and then crossing our fingers and see what happens. I love all of my boys, and with autism or without, the future is always unsure.
However I am tired of the elderly at the grocery store telling me to get control of my son. Co-workers at work telling me that I caused this outcome from my depressed pregnancy. My mom saying "no worries, he will grow out of it" However I have found this line works the best to them all. " I'm glad you know so much about autism, I wish you could talk to all the specialists and all the mothers and all the children out there who are dealing with it daily. They could definitely use your expert advise"

I guess sarcasm works the best for me

Yvonne - posted on 02/15/2011

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Thank you for posting the link to this article. I am just in the process of having my son diagnosed & can appreciate everything I read tonite. We have always had issues with my four year old. Not wanting to announce our circumstances has nothing to do with being ashamed of our daily challenges as much as learning who the great people in our lives are. The ones who have stuck by our side & I can always rely on to be there, not only for myself but for my son. It's true, you will never know who your real friends are till you go through a life changing experience like autism. I love my son for everything he is & will be. And so do those few people I know will always be there for him. I'm so happy to have found this site, mostly because it's a relief to hear from other parents going through the same situations as myself & realize I'm not alone in living in our bubble... the world is full of bubbles. :)

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Wendy - posted on 04/15/2014

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every morning bout 3 or 4 am my grandson wakes...all he wants to do is play...its making his mummy so exhausted...she needs advice wot she can do...she,s a one parent family..also she needs to chat wiv people who av children wiv autism

Laura - posted on 11/13/2013

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What about financial assistance by applying for social security? This take the whole antagonistic system of child support out of the picture. Parents of an autistic child have enough to worry about and need to come together on so many other issues, so money shouldn't have to be one of them.

Dawi - posted on 02/15/2012

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Like most if not all here, after reading the article, I can honestly say been there, done that.



I experienced the alienation (especially during the early years), lost a lot of friends but also made new friends. IMO, the best people to be friends with are those gifted with children in the spectrum. Not that I don't value the other friends that I have but simply because they get it. I don't have to explain that Christmas morning feeling. You guys know that feeling, the one we get when our children achieve certain milestones NT take for granted.



One time I had to call my friend because my 5y/o daughter told me to call her because her son had a red light in school. The red light may not be too exciting but the fact that she was aware enough to notice and tell on him was pretty grand. (A month prior, on our eval, the teacher said my dd does not seem to know nor does she acknowledge her peers). My friend celebrated with me. When her son showed a proficiency in Math, we too were elated. When things get bad, we remind each other that they're just bumps. The may slow the journey but it's not a brick wall.



I have had some family members who are shamed and try to hide the fact that my dd is autistic. This is quite hard to do as I wear her dx like a badge. I am not saying that I am proud to have an autistic child, rather that I am proud of my autistic child. I talk about autism a lot because someone may have a child the same as mine... a little quirky with very limited vocabulary. My dd is lucky to have had early intervention. She is the first autistic in my side of the family so although I knew there was something wrong, I did not know what it was. To this day, I am grateful to the woman from Mamapedia who directed me to have my child evaluated. Not for autism but at that time for developmental delays. My dd had 4 words at 17 mos and recently literally a month or so ago, she started spitting out full sentences.( Ahhhh Christmas morning feeling)

Annabel - posted on 01/10/2012

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So true, though with us we find she does great with adults, and they just seem to think, well if she can chat about all that how can she have a problem, which in some ways is true, she cannot relate to those of her own age!

Sherreka - posted on 01/02/2012

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My son was diagnosed with autism in May of 2011 at age 2.5. But he has been recieving early intervention services since April 2010. He recently aged out of the early intervention program and I was telling his service coordinator that the team of therapists he had know him better than his family. But thats becasue I he doesn't spend much time with our family. His father and I know how they can be and so his father won't even tell anyone he's been diagnosed with autism. He says were to tell him he just has a speech delay until he feels they're ready (that is also in part to him still having trouble excepting the diagnoses). My son has made great strides from when I first started to suspect he might be autistic but he still doesn't fit the "norm" and I've seen how my family treated and still treat my brother who haas learning disabilities and I don't wont that for my son. My brother won'ts so bad for him not to go through the same thing that he insists that he'll be ok and we shouldn't treat him like he's different but what I wont for him and everyone else to understand is that he is in fact different there's nothing wrong with that. If he did not have autism he wouldn't be the little boy I and his father love so much.

Sharlene - posted on 10/25/2011

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Hi . My son is 8 yrs lod was diagnosed at 1.5 with childhood autism the again at age 3 autism spertrum.He attend a mainstream school with a special autism unit his in grade 2 and ding relly good.so if anyone wants to message me for a chat feel free.Cheers

Michaela - posted on 10/08/2011

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To Mary Burden,
I have many people that say to me that my son looks fine to them, my son diagnosed on the spectrum about a month ago. He is now seven and we have been trying to get him diagnosed since he was three years old.

Rosie - posted on 08/05/2011

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I will say this I am so sick and tired of people saying "she will grow out of it", my friends son/daughter had autism but when they hit 8 they started talking.....I am sorry but I was told my daughter had a condition that has no cure.....i would suggest to every parent out there is to get rid of your expectations of the perfect child and actually look at your child and see how precious they are.....personally i was thrown so much information in the first 6 months that I operated on autopolit.....i would wake up everyday going "oh my baby has autism"....then get on with my day....i think we have to grieve for how hard there life is going to be before we can then deal with it and move on....i have to say now that i am over the grieving part she is my pride and joy....i love the fact that she can go into a supermarket (on a good day) and laugh her head off over nothing....and not care what anybody thinks.....i love the fact that when he big sister helps her and she giggles....i love the fact that if she feels like jumping around for no reason then she will do it...without looking around to see if anybody is judging her....i love it when she wakes up in the morning and jumps into bed with her big sister and cuddles into her......i hate her meltdowns and that i can help her, i hate that because she can't verbalise what she wants and she bites herself.....but that is Olivia and as her mum and with the help of her wonderful school I am proud to let her be who she wants to be and right now that is a 6 year old girl....

Merri Ann - posted on 07/28/2011

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i agree with you Hatina, my boys are both teenagers now, but when they were first being diagnosed, the oldest not till he was in 6th grade. But when they were first being diagnosed, I heard alot from people about how to change them and how to "fix" them. I would just smile and say I love my children the way they are, why would I want to change them in anyway? Man, did I ever get alot of flack for many many years from family, friends, and others, for just simply Loving my children the way God gave them to me. God saw me fit to be their mama, only me......he didnt give that gift to anyone else, just me......so I trust that he will help me to find the best ways to help them through life. They are great boys, and have a wonderful sister.
But still, to this day, at 17 and 13, I have to remind certain people.....that yes, my sons do have special needs, and shouldnt be socially exspected to conform to the norm.

HATINA - posted on 06/30/2011

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I enjoyed this article thoroughly. Just last week I took my girls with me to a meeting after which the lady who invited me introduced herself to my daughter and asked me why I don't get her involved in the project we're doing I told her my daughter was autistic and she told me she was sorry I told her she shouldn't be because I'm not. She had a look of both confusion and interest on her face.

Kym - posted on 06/30/2011

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Hi There - Things can be really overwhelming when your child is first diagnosed. When my son was 3, he was practically nonverbal, tantrummed, etc....it has been a long road. At 14, he is doing very well...considered Aspergers now. I wrote this recently about Never Giving Up Hope...sometimes it just helps to know our kids can and do get better :-) hang in there! :-)
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/auti... I might repost this thread.

Laura - posted on 06/29/2011

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We have a very high functioning Autistic child. He has come a long way. I have prayed for healing over him for years and God has blessed him soooo much. I love my Jacob and feel I have grown as a person becasue he is in my life. Friends are important but family is the most important. I have figured out our tolerance levels and boundaries that we all can handle.

Clair - posted on 06/28/2011

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I have been a part of this community for sometime now although my son just received his diagnosis 3 days ago, I feel like the news was bittersweet, i always knew that my boy was different as did my friends and family so now that we have the diagnosis of ASD nothing has changed in the way he is, the difference is that now he will receive funding that will open the doors to him to a bright future ! So i say this to all the parents out there who have had the missfortune of friends and family that no longer want to be a part of there lives, diagnosis is a great thing. I cannot wait for my bright boy to benefit from all the things that will be available to him now ! Keep your heads up ! It all gets better from this point forward ♥

Mary - posted on 05/04/2011

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I actually seen a movie two day's ago where the girl was autistic and not high functioning so they put her in an institution, then 20 years later they offered a trial sergery that could "cure" her, so her brother had them do it. For a couple months she was at a high functioning level. I liked when she was telling the doctors and her brother that even when she had seemed out of reach, she remembered things and looked forward t othings, and she missed her family even though they didnt think she could understand. It really made me think of what these children and adults are thinking and feeling even though we don't realise it. In the end of the movie of course she reverted back and the operation was not a success, but they learned to treat her as a human with feelings instead of an object that needed personal care. It helped me because sometimes my son goes into his own world and I wasn't sure he knew what was what when he's like that but now I know other wise. I guess it was a movie based off a true story on life time I think.

Kym - posted on 04/12/2011

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Hi There - I am Kym. I just joined the Circle of Moms today. I am glad you all found the article helpful. :-)

Bridgette - posted on 03/15/2011

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Thanks this is helpful! The most important thing is for family/friends not to tell us how things can "cure" our childs autism. It was said to me so many times by a "helpful" friend-I just don't want to talk to her any more. I wouldn't "cure", the best part of who my beautiful Perfectly autistic child is, if I could.

Mary - posted on 03/07/2011

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I actually did read the artical and its so close to home. Some times it feels like friends and family are ashamed of My son, or sons. I just want to scream YA THEY ARE SPECIAL NEEDS!!!! SO WHAT?? they are human and they are mine, and I am proud of them. Even though Alexes dream job is to work at McDonalds. Not that there is anything wrong with that I worked there. As a new parent I had hoped my kids would reach higher than me, but it is what it is, and its fine with me. They can only do what they can and I just want them to be the best they can be. I'll always be proud of them. Even if they might not be able to work at all.

Katherine - posted on 03/02/2011

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They don't have enough information, they don't "get it", they are intolerant and closed minded.....I could go on and on. Did you click the link Mary?

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