13 things I wish I’d known when my son was diagnosed with autism

by Emily Fedorowycz |

Receiving a diagnosis of any sort for your child is always concerning, but when it comes to autism, it's normal for us to feel lost and unsure of what this means for our child's future. If you're currently going through a diagnosis with your child, here's one mum's recollection of how she felt when her child was diagnosed with autism.

"When my chatty, cuddly, three-year-old son was diagnosed with autism, I was outwardly prepared, but privately stunned."

"I had only been seriously worried about his language development – which was advanced in some areas, but behind in others - for six months. My son developed normally until around two and a half, apart from being a very early talker, which (ironically) I took as a sign I could relax about conditions like autism. He had been a restless, book-obsessed baby, but no more demanding than others in my NCT group.

"So the day he was diagnosed, swiftly and unambiguously, it felt as if my life had spun 180 degrees. My husband and I went from thinking of ourselves as ‘normal’ parents to being responsible for a disabled child. This is just my experience – you might have had suspicions since birth that something was ‘different’ about your baby, or you might feel relieved to have a label and answers. Whatever your circumstances, though, it’s likely to be a challenging time."

13 things I wish someone had told me on diagnosis day:

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1) Slow down

People talk a lot about the importance of early intervention. There’s truth in it, but if you need a fortnight to breathe and get your head round your new reality this isn’t likely to make a long term difference. So don’t panic just because you haven’t instigated twenty different types of therapy, the day after diagnosis.

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