Are you worried that your child might have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?
First things first, stay calm, really understand what Autism Spectrum Disorder is about and its symptoms. Then, plan on what you should do next to support your child.
Autism Spectrum Disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder defined primarily by impaired social functioning and communication difficulties.
Autism Spectrum Disorder Symptoms
Symptoms that you may discover about Autism Spectrum Disorder include, but are not limited to
- Delay in learning to speak
- Self-abuse behavior such as head-banging
- Avoid eye contact with others
- Lack of understanding social cues (body language or tone of voice)
If your child has some of the above symptoms for Autism Spectrum Disorder, here are a few guidelines on how you can support your child.
1. Seek advice from qualified professionals
Acquire practical guidance from respective professionals on your child’s condition and whether you should arrange checkup appointments for your child.
You may speak to the following healthcare and education experts for advice.
- Your child’s doctor – paediatrician or family nurse
- Special educational needs teachers at your child’s school
- General Practitioner
Other than seeking someone for advice, take note and write a list of autism signs and problems that you think your child has. This will be helpful because you can share those concerns with your autism specialist during your discussion.
2. Get an autism diagnosis
Once you have decided to arrange an appointment for your child, get an autism diagnosis done as soon as possible with an autism specialist like a speech pathologist, occupational therapist, or psychologist. A thorough diagnosis is the first important step for your child’s support.
During this stage, the list of notes that you have written would be helpful. Here, your child’s doctor will examine, discuss, and assist you with the right early intervention program for your child. You can expect your child’s doctor to:
- Examine the way your child interacts with people
- Speak to the people who know your child well such as you, your family members, and friends as well as your child’s teachers
- Discuss your child’s problem and autism diagnosis
Remember to request a referral from your doctor to enrol your child in an early intervention programme.
If you are still concerned about your child’s condition after receiving your first assessment and advice from your doctor, do not be afraid to seek a second or third opinion from another health expert. You might learn a different clinical approach on how you can support your child.
3. Conduct research about therapies, autism support, and early intervention programmes
Early intervention has a huge and significant impact on children. The sooner you can get your child started, the greater the support your child will receive to develop their vital skills.
4. Build a strong support network
It can be overwhelming to learn that your child is diagnosed with autism. Be sure to build a supporting network by
- Discuss your child’s concerns with trusted friends and family who can assist and provide practical support.
- Join forums and attend local workshops or parent organizations to meet other parents of autistic children.
If you are seeking autism support via NDIS consultation, make an appointment with Posity. Posity is a Registered NDIS Service Provider, who has a team of experienced Allied Health Team ready to be with you every step of the way.