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7 Tips for a Parent of a Newly Diagnosed Child with Autism

It takes a few simple steps to make a Daily Difference

Let’s be real for a minute. If you are a parent of a child with autism, life might feel different. A diagnosis can be intimidating. You may be experiencing a whole slew of emotions: denial, fear, stress, anxiety. You’re not sure where to turn for support. But your life doesn’t have to be scary or less enjoyable. It can be rewarding and meaningful. With the right resources, you can empower yourself, your child, and your family with the educational and emotional tools you need to thrive. 

First off, take a deep breath and reflect on what you do have. Your child is still the sweet little baby who you fell in love with at first sight. Give yourself some time to absorb all of the information. Read, learn, grow. Listen to your doctors and educators, but don’t let them derail your parenting instincts. You’ve got this! 

And never, never lose your sense of humor. Life with autism brings funny and heartwarming moments. Take it in.

Below are some light-hearted tips to keep your spirits up. 

Enjoy a Little Self Pity

Yell, scream, cry … get it out. Just remember, your child needs you. It’s time to navigate the new normal and you will. It just takes some time. 

Take Time for Yourself

Your child isn’t the only one in the family. It’s essential to keep your mind, body, and spirit healthy so you can be there for your family. If you have to, schedule 30 minutes just for you. Allow your partner or spouse to do the same. This allotted time is also a great place to have the above-mentioned party. 

Be Open to Hearing Advice

Because you’ll get a lot of it. You’ll get it on the internet; you’ll get it off the internet. From friends, from family, and from professionals. Take it in stride, and find your trusted sources. 

Add Play to Your Day

Connect with your child by letting loose. Get whacky. Put play on the schedule. Relax, have fun, and your child will notice. Remember, never lose your sense of humor. 

Reinforce Routines

Routine, routine, routine. Great for your child and good for you. Children with autism spectrum disorder do well with routine. Be consistent with guidance and interaction so they can practice what they learn. 

Focus on Staying Positive

Remember that sense of humor theme. Have a laugh with a side of zeal whenever possible. It keeps you focused on responding positively to your child when they do something well and not so well. 

Put Your Child in ABA Therapy

If you don’t follow any of the tips above, do this one. ABA therapy is an evidence-based approach to autism treatment. It focuses on developing individual strengths and critical life skills that help those with autism reach their full potential. Though ABA therapy is scientifically proven to help children with autism, it also supports their community. Parents, siblings, caregivers, and teachers benefit from the tools and resources ABA therapy affords. 

ABA therapy is a win-win and we’re here to help. Constellation can support your child from 18 months to young adulthood. Our team of professionals is passionate about helping children with autism succeed and providing their parents with the resources to make it through any day. 

“It’s really helpful because there are multiple parts of ABA, and the one that I think is most important is gaining new skills,” says Mallory Bevis, Constellation BCBA. “When I look at a client and I see what they see, I can break it down so that it’s attainable for them. We also look at motivation. We look at what the client likes, what they want to work on, what they’d like to work for, and we help use that in their session. So it’s more motivating for them to do those skills. ABA is also really helpful for the parents because we can take those same strategies and interventions that are motivating inside the session and use them outside.”

As a parent of a child recently diagnosed with autism, we hope you turn to Constellation for support as you navigate this adventure.

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Additional Resources:

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Constellation provides ABA therapy at-home services in Connecticut as an evidence-based approach for autism treatment. Through our customized programming, we work with individuals to improve development and focus on expanding cognitive, language, and adaptive skills. Learn more. 

Also, Constellation partners with private and public schools, school districts, and early childhood development programs in Connecticut for School-Based Therapy, providing evidence-based behavior, occupational, physical therapy solutions, and management consulting services. Learn more.

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