Getting the "official" or "unofficial" word that your child has Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)/Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) can be devastating. Parents tend to handle this time, plus the period immediately following in different ways. Most of us grieve for the child/adolescent/adult we dreamed up when we first found out about the pregnancy.
The one thing that is so important to know is that autism is not caused by poor parenting! Your child is not just "stubborn", "bad" or "lazy", and neither are you.
At this time, try to utilize the resources available to you. It may be helpful for you and your partner to receive some counseling and/or to join a support group.
As soon as you can handle it, start making phone calls. Initially (and dependant on your child's age) you should call Early Intervention Services and get hooked up with a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) and an Occupation Therapist (OT) (a large percentage of kids on the spectrum have a sensory integration dysfunction). You will also want to start applying for funding (in Ontario, Canada this includes Special Services at Home, Assistance for Children with Severe Handicaps <Ministry of Community and Social Services (1-877-669-6658) –for applications for Special Services at Home (SSAH) and Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities (ACSD)> , Easter Seals [for diapers], in Ontario, be sure to apply for the new Autism Initiative. Information on these can all be found in our section "Autism in Ontario" and "Autism in York Region and the GTA". You may also be eligible to receive some money off certain items such as communication devices. Check out Assistive Devices for more information.) Be certain to contact your local chapter of the AUTISM SOCIETY.
While on wait lists for services, there are more things you can do. Research some interventions (therapies). Some you may want to look at the very beginning are:
|Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA), also called Intensive Behavioral Intervention (IBI)|
|The Gluten and Casein Free Diet (GFCF Diet)|
|"Floortime" by Dr. Stanley Greenspan|
|Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) - taught by an SLP|
|A good integrated nursery or preschool for the younger child|
These are only a few of the options available out there. One way to weed through them all is through the Internet. Try entering "autism + therapies" into your search engine. Some good ones to try are:
Yahoo, altavista, google, hotbot and go.com
We have tried our very best to provide a variety of impartial information regarding interventions on this website. If you have any questions, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org (please feel free to let us know if anything is missing also, we work hard to keep this site as up-to-date as possible). To search this website, use the icon on the front page or any of our sub menus.
Please remember that love is a huge element in any therapy. Parental involvement has been found to help a child cross huge chasms!
BBB Autism is now offering two great "Beginner's" Guides: One for York Region, and a General Beginner's Guide (to be used in any location in the world). Both are in English only. To obtain your free copy, please email email@example.com.
More Information for Those Starting Out
|Beginner's Guide to ASD in York Region|
|Beginner's Guide to ASD (General)|
|Notes from "Starting Out in York Region", presented by Autism Society Ontario York Region Chapter - Part One and Part Two|
workshop presented by BBB Autism Support Network called "How to Help
Your Child Newly Diagnosed with Autism/PDD at Home" are being offered
throughout Ontario. For more information (to attend or to set up a
workshop for your group), email firstname.lastname@example.org
Real Stories from Real Parents - Finding Out
(One of our parents has very generously offered to share her personal story. We hope you can draw inspiration from it)
"When I first found out about Ariel's diagnosis I was completely shocked. You become overwhelmed with these feelings of confusion, shock and denial. When the doctor uttered those 6 letters I thought he must be crazy. There is no sign of any type of disability in my family this just can't be. I thought to myself, I have to find out more about this disorder. The more I learned the more I objectively starting to see the connection.
One day I was browsing the Internet when I came across an article written by Jim Sinclair. It was called "Don't Mourn For Us". When I read this article it made me realize, why was I acting this way. My son is happy and healthy. I soon came to realize that the problem was me and not him. This article helped me overcome so many feelings. Anyone who has just found about his or her child's diagnosis should definitely read it.
The way I cope with my son's diagnosis is talking about it. Sharing his story with others. I was also fortunate enough to create a web page in the hopes to promote awareness. Keeping a journal has also helped me cope tremendously. Every time Ariel has accomplished a milestone, I write it down in his journal. On those days when things seem so bleak, I read it and realize how far he has gotten and it brings me so much joy. Every once in a while my husband and I go out alone and just enjoy each other's company, something we rarely get to do at home. But the best advice I can give anyone in terms of coping is educating ones self. This has helped me fight many battles and become the best advocate for my son.
Note: BBB Autism is not responsible for information found on links or in books listed here.
27: July 23, 2002