To the Parent of A Newly Autism Diagnosed Child
When we got concern at the 18 month wellness check for speech delay, it was a shock. Jackson had always been a chill kid with no signs of any negatives so to be told that he was ‘severely behind’ at a standard wellness check shook me to my core. When we received his Autism diagnosis 4 months later, it was incredibly overwhelming but also very calming. My husband & I had discussed this possibility to the ends of the Earth so to receive the diagnosis answered more questions than bringing more on.
However, this isn’t the case with many parents. If this is a diagnosis you weren’t expecting, it can suddenly feel like your child & your entire world is different. All the acronyms start coming out like ABA, IEPs, getting an OT & Speech therapist, all the while your head is spinning like “please repeat that all again & slower”. I get it.
& the paperwork with insurance & organizing the companies with schedules. What services? What terminology? What form? Which Doctor? It’s a lot.
Being the parent of a newly diagnosed kid is a different kind of parenting no one can explain to you until you’ve gone through it yourself. The technical side varies based on your kid & their needs but I’m here to offer you a point of view as a parent. Here are a few things to keep in mind after you receive your child’s diagnosis.
IT’S OK TO FEEL HOWEVER YOU FEEL
Girl - it’s perfectly ok to feel everything. & it’s ok for those feelings to change daily, if not hourly. 1 minute, you could feel extremely relieved that you found some kind of explanation to your special needs babe. The next, completely overwhelmed that even though you have some explanation, there are SO many challenges & responsibilities that are on the road ahead. Whatever you feel is ok.
Be prepared for those kinds of days that flip on a switch - one you’ll feel ready to check everything off your list & take on the day. The next, just getting out of bed is a struggle. & THAT’S OK. These waves are expected & more than welcomed. Being the parent of a kid with special needs bring a lot of worry but equal, if not more amounts of joy. The polar opposite of emotions are part of the process & I promise, the bad days get fewer & further between as you go.
To read the rest of my article, head over to Charleston Mom Blog!