The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has estimated that every child born in the US has at least 1% chance of being affected with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Boys are four times likely to be autistic than girls. Approximately one in 30 boys is diagnosed with ASD by eight years of age. As such, ASD diagnosis itself has become very important these days.
But coming to terms with ASD diagnosis is often a tall order for the family of the autistic child. Denial, anger, and depression are the common reactions. But many people accept the fact that their child is autistic. Family support is immensely important to help a child meet the autism challenges.
Outcomes can be improved when one of the parents stays at home with the autistic child. He/she has to learn and carry out intensive behavioral therapies. If a family needs dual income, support from an early intervention and special education becomes important to provide predictable daily care. Local support groups can also assist in the early days so that you aren’t left alone.
If you stay in a stable location where your child is at home with his/her surroundings, it can alleviate the stress and transitional challenges after ASD diagnosis that may reduce the need for behavioral therapy. This may not be always possible because of job relocation of either of the parents. Marital discord is a more serious problem that could lead to a separation or divorce. This usually puts stress on the child.
School is another major step for the autistic child. A school which collaborates with parents, and most importantly understands the child’s condition, is far better than an institution churning out toppers. Some schools provide extra support to special children to help them mix socially with as many neuro-typical peers as possible.
ASD diagnosis is only the beginning of a long battle involved to raise an autistic child.