As a parent, you never think about your child as anything but healthy. However, some parents have to face up to the fact that their child may not be like other kids, that he/she may be suffering from a serious health problem or disorder. For all such parents out there, the earlier you accept this fact, the better it is for your child. In the case of autism, an early diagnosis (around 18 months of age) may prove to be the turning point in your little one's life, and may provide him/her with a chance to start care and support earlier, giving him/her a healthier future.
Educate Yourself About AutismLearning about the disorder will help you find different ways to help your child, which will make it easier for you to cope, as you begin to see some hope for your child's future growth and development.
Having said that, it is also important to understand that, while some people are able to accept things pretty quickly, others may take time. The fact that you are not the only parents who have an autistic child may be a good way to console yourselves, and help you accept reality with relatively less difficulty. We, at Buzzle, have put together some tips to help you come to terms with the fact that your child has autism.
Express your emotionsIn order to accept any given situation, it is important to expunge out of your mind and body all the emotions and feelings that are associated with that situation. In other words, allow yourself to express grief, anger, sadness, denial, guilt, and similar emotions once and for all, and brace yourself to deal with your child's disorder in a courageous manner.
Share your thoughtsThere is a difference between sharing your feelings with a group of people, and expressing yourself to one person whom you love and trust. The former scenario has very little scope to put across your inner feelings, which is possible in the latter situation. The person you have decided to talk to, is already a trustworthy individual, and hence, may have the ability to sympathize with you, and help you out with the situation.
Take it positivelyI totally agree that advising someone to maintain a positive approach is a lot easier than adopting it yourself. However, in this situation, it is really going to help you plan a better future for your child, since you perfectly know what needs to be done to deal with the condition. You can contact specialist doctors for determining the treatment options that will help your child.
Socialize with other autistic kids' parentsAs mentioned earlier, the feeling that you are not alone, and there are several others who are facing exactly the same problem as yours, can be quite redeeming. Furthermore, meeting such parents and children makes complete sense because they have walked in your shoes, so they can exactly understand what you are going through, and empathize with you completely. Also, when you share your child's problems with them, you are more than likely to obtain solutions and ways from other parents, to handle your child's development in a better way.
Accept yourself and your childIt is important to know that this is not the time to blame either yourself or your child for the disorder. Accept whatever you are going through, and be patient with yourself. Also, continue to love your child unconditionally as before, because you are the only person in your little one's life who cares for him/her the most. Give yourself a break from the stress of the situation, and you will surely feel much better.
Ask for professional helpSome people may feel embarrassed or shy to ask for help in this matter. However, there is no need at all to have such a feeling while trying to help your child recover from a genuine health problem. Moreover, talking to close friends and family members may help, but only to a certain extent. At some point, you need to talk to a professional, and discuss the treatment strategies for the child. Hence, don't put your child's life at stake by not going out and asking for help from others.
Autism is a challenging condition for children and their families. Take your time to accept your new reality, and start researching the treatment options for your child. As said earlier, the sooner your child starts with the treatment, the better for him/her.