Notes on ASD: sharing diagnosis with child


The survival guide for Kids with autism spectrum disorders (and their parents) by Elizabeth Verdick and Elizabeth Reeve, M.D.

Sharing the diagnosis with your child (for parents) pg227

1.      First and foremost, know that it’s likely your child already has a idea that he or she is “different” in some way. The news may not be as shocking as you think Kids with autism spectrum disorders realize they struggle in certain areas, but they don’t know why. They may think, “I do everything wrong” or “It’s all my fault.” They may wonder why they’re in a special education program or why they see doctors and therapist a lot more often than other kids do…. it’s an opportunity for you to give your child n ot only the reasons but also reassurance. Children need to know that having a condition isn’t their fault.

2.      The most important thing you can do is to keep the conversation positive. Wait until you yourself are at a point of acceptance.

3.      How to keep the conversation positive? By making it clear that you’re there to answer questions, to offer support, and to always be a source of unconditional love.

4.      Look for signs of readiness. If your child says something like, “I’m so stupid!” or “I can’t do things, right?”

5.      Choose a good time: Home is quiet, child is calm, no pressing agendas are present.

6.      Autism spectrum disorders are considered medical conditions. Kids who have ASD need help, guidance, and support. Some parents make the3 mistake of believing that because a diagnosis will lead to a label, that label will then hold their child back in school, in social situations, and throughout life. But failing to acknowledge the condition doesn’t change the reality of it. Other parents attempt to soften the truth by telling their child he or she has a learning disorder or a developmental delay. This terminology may give children the impression that they’ll outgrow the problem or “get better” if they “do things right.” Avoiding the diagnosis or giving it a different name only postpones the process of getting kids the help they need and deserve.

 

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