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After the Diagnosis: What You Should Do Next

According to the CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network, about 1 in 59 children is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), with approximately 3.5 million Americans diagnosed in total. It’s safe to say that every one of us have met at least one autistic person at some point in our lives.

But what do you do if your own child is diagnosed with ASD? While it cannot be a pleasant experience for a parent, it’s important to remember that there is nothing wrong with your child. They are just different.  Autism won’t make a difference to who your child is and what they can achieve in their life. Here are some things you can do to ensure that your child lives a healthy and happy life.

Look For an Early Intervention

When it comes to autism, early intervention is just as vital as an early diagnosis. The early period of a child’s life (0 to 3 years), is critical in terms of development. The first step you should take after diagnosis is start looking at different autism therapies of your child. While they are not an indefinite cure (there is none), they can still establish foundational skills on which your child can develop.

Although experts advise early intervention, it’s never too late to ascertain if your child qualifies for certain therapies. These include:

  • Behavioral therapy
  • Speech therapy
  • Occupational therapy

Learn How Your Child Communicates

It’s not uncommon for children on the spectrum to have delayed speech development. However, this doesn’t mean that your child isn’t communicating. They are just communicating in a different manner. The sooner you pick up on your child’s language, the easier it will be to communicate with them. Speech therapy can help improve your child’s articulation, non-verbal communication and social pragmatics.

Understand that They Sense Things Differently

You may have observed autistic children making repetitive movements such as rocking backwards and forwards and flapping their hands. Such movements are a result of hypersensitivity to environmental stimuli. Such habits are an equivalent of compulsive habits regular people have such as chewing the end of a pencil or repetitive tapping of feet. Occupational therapy attempts to fulfill the sensory needs of autistic children in a controlled, appropriate environment.

Remember, you can’t change your child, but you can change yourself. If you’re seeking excellent autism programs in New York, Orange County for Autism provides a range of resources regarding autism.  

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