Discovering that your child has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can be overwhelming and scary, and we get it. As a parent, you want your child to have the tools and support that he/she needs to be successful and happy. If you’re a new parent of autism, you may be feeling a jumble of mixed emotions, and that’s normal.
Every child with ASD is completely different, just like any other child. Preparing yourself for this new journey is a part of the process. Our Hidden Treasures team has tips to help you along the way.
You’re NOT Alone
The FIRST thing to remember and recognize is that you are not alone. There are parents around the world who have a child with autism. This community of parents and professionals exists, and all you have to do is reach out. With community events, parent groups, online discussion posts, blogs, and so much more, you can establish a community and support system of people who understand the difficulties that parents of autism face.
Slow it Down
When you first find out that your child has autism, it can feel tempting to go full-speed ahead. Make sure that you pace yourself. This is a long journey that involves learning and growing together. Take time for yourself, or you can really burn out. Enjoy a movie or book every once in a while. The more centered and calm you are, the better it is for your child with ASD.
Do Your Research… But Don’t Overdo It
There are SO MANY resources for parents of autism. It’s a good idea to do your research, so you can understand the scientific and everyday, applicable aspects of your child’s diagnosis. Here are some of our favorite resources:
With an abundance of resources and research, it can feel overwhelming. There’s a time to turn to research and a time to unplug your computer and enjoy time with your family. Try to strike a healthy balance.
Prepare Your Child’s Environment
Children with ASD thrive in environments that are organized and ideal for their particular disposition. We have tips on Creating a Safe Environment for Your Child with Autism that can guide you through this process and help you create a warm and safe space for your loved one.
Be Ready to Try New Things
Every child is different, and you should prepare yourself for being open to trying new things. This means therapy methods, communication tactics, routines, and other practical parts of your family’s lifestyle. There is no “one size fits all” with autism.
Create a Schedule
Children with autism tend to function better if they have an organized space and schedule. From brushing teeth to eating dinner, a set rhythm is important for children with ASD. This can take some time to develop and you may hit bumps along the way, but creating an environment that is predictable and plenty of routines will comfort your loved one and reduce stress in the home.
Focus on the Positive
We know how overwhelming it can be as a new parent of autism, but focusing on the positive in your life and your child’s development can be key to create a happier home. ABA therapy uses positive reinforcement as a building block for behavioral development. Children with autism (and most children) respond well to positive reinforcement. Take the time to praise your little one when he/she does a desired action, like brushing his/her teeth before bed.
For you, as the parent, focusing on what makes your child wonderful and special is key. Every child is beautiful, and you get the opportunity to love your child with ASD for his/her unique qualities.
Hidden Treasures offers ABA therapy services that are tailored to your child’s distinct needs. We provide support and therapy services for parents of autism and children with ASD. Contact our team TODAY, and join our community of compassionate and dedicated professionals.