Avoid Unnecessary Spending on Accommodations

Autism is a disorder that involves language delays, impaired social interactions, and/or repetitive behaviors. This condition is typically diagnosed before the age of four. Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder and thought to be related to abnormal brain development and functioning. It is often referred to as a spectrum disorder, which refers to the fact that an autistic child can have a wide range of skills, symptoms, and deficits.

Autism Spectrum Disorder does not refer to severity. Some children are only slightly impaired by their symptoms while others have significant impairments. Many children with autism also have cognitive processing delays, which are treatable.

Parents often feel overwhelmed when their child is diagnosed with autism. Although there may indeed be many challenges ahead, parents have a multitude of resources to turn to for help. Arguably too many.

1. Learn as Much About Autism as You Can

Most parents of a child newly diagnosed autistic child do not know much about the disorder. It is important to dismiss misconceptions and understand the reality of their specific situation. Children that are diagnosed with autism often have different strengths, weaknesses and needs.

Perhaps the best place to start is by learning about your child’s specific diagnosis. There are many authoritative websites and books about the disorder, as well as many in-depth online guides that can help familiarize parents with treatment options, such as the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

2. Research The Treatment Options for Autism

There are a number of different treatment options for autism, especially for the language and cognitive processing delays that are common to almost all autistic children.  Gains in language processing can have a profound impact on the potential for an autistic child to reach his potential.

There are many different approaches to improve these skills. According to a study conducted by the National Institute of Deafness and Other Disorders, the best treatment program for autism addresses the child’s behavior and communication skills and offers regular positive reinforcement. The programs that are most effective for autistic children tend to be specialized and highly structured.

Gemm Learning offers an adaptive and highly structured autism treatment program that focuses on language, attention, social interaction and reading. Structured programs such as these can make up a comprehensive treatment program for autism.

3. Seek Social Support from Others with an Autistic Child

A strong social support network will help parents cope with the ongoing stress of raising a child with autism. Some parents can be overwhelmed by anxiety, especially about the future. Talking to other parents and joining parent support groups on Facebook and elsewhere can be extremely beneficial.

Not only can you learn about therapies that might be helpful for your child, you can also get advice on handling the day to day parenting challenges of raising a child with autism.  Furthermore, forums and community groups offer an opportunity to learn how other parents interact with schools, which are often not in sync with the long term needs of autistic children.

Contrary to what many people believe, autism symptoms can be reduced with specific therapies. Taking the steps noted above can help parents provide the support needed to help their autistic child live a productive, happy life.