My child has been diagnosed with autism, now what?
A question often asked. Hurray you have just found out that your child is Autistic! This means they they are apart of a beautiful community and have a unique perspective on the world. I have compiled some tips as a neurodivergent educator to help guide parents at this exciting time.
Assessment can be an stressful and overwhelming process for child and parents alike. For everybody’s sake going forward staying calm is imperative. And breathe.
2. Celebrate the Autistic community in your household.
This can be by learning about famous Autistic people or even Neurodivergent people within your lives. I remember after my diagnosis finding out that the man who sold me sweets in the shop was also Neurodivergent. As a child I remember thinking that selling sweets was the coolest job in the world. And if a neurodivergent person could do that then I could do anything. An Autistic child will be bombarded with negative stereotypes inflicted on them. The only effective way to counter this is to expose them to the wonderful Neurodivergent community.
3. Don’t research.
As soon as many parents find out that their child has been diagnosed with Autism many of them immediately reach for their phone and begin googling. There is so much conflicting information out there. It can be a minefield. You will be trying to do what’s best for your child. But spending the day on the computer trying to understand your child isn’t always fruitful. The best way to understand your child is by spending time with them doing activities which engage them and learn about their communication style.
4. Ok you can do a little research.
All research isn’t good research. Some of the things to look out for when reading are; research which is neurodiversity affirming, research that is Autistic led and which includes a diverse pool of participants. If you aren’t sure ask a member of the Autistic community for their recommendations.
5. You’re on the right track
It is important to remain positive about your child being diagnosed with Autism and supportive of your child but also of yourself. By finding this article you are in a pro autistic and neurodiversity affirming space. At Konfident Kidz we love Autistic kids. We equip them with strategies and tools to empower them to better understand themselves and others. It is important that the therapies and organisations you are involved with similarly aim to offer support and validation. And that is why we talk about Autistic kids and not children with autism.