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Just Diagnosed with Autism… Now What?

Typically receiving a diagnosis of any kind can be difficult, and I can only imagine how much harder that is when the diagnosis is for your child. A diagnosis of ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder); is typically given by a neurologist. Although, sometimes, it can be by a psychologist. If your child was just diagnosed with autism, you might be going through a tough time because you might have many questions.

Often when diagnoses are received, we experience all kinds of feelings and emotions. Sometimes, we go through the stages of grief, while other times, we get stuck in one of those stages.

A mother who just received a diagnosed that her child has autism.

Regardless of where you might be after hearing your child has been diagnosed with autism. Your mind probably goes straight to “Ok, now what?” or “What are the next steps? Who do I call?”. It can be an overwhelming time and even more mind-boggling when you are receiving so much information. Things like, what services are needed? What to do? Who to call? School options, so on and so forth.

So, what is next? What do you do after your child is diagnosed with autism?

There is no single path or one right way that I can provide for how to go about after receiving the diagnosis. What I can do, is give some guidance on how you can gather more information. Guide you to find resources and support to help you make the best decision for your child and your family.

A mother asking for guidance to help her child who was diagnosed with autism.
  1. Get the diagnosis on paper from the diagnosing clinician. If services are needed, it makes it much easier to already have the diagnosis in hand.
  2. If the diagnosing clinician is recommending any services, ask for a prescription for those services. Again, if that is needed, it makes the process easier to have those documents in hand.
  3. Take time to process the diagnosis if you need to and what it means for you, your child and your family.
  4. Research the services available in your area based on the needs of your child. It is common for the services and therapies recommended to be ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis), OT (Occupational Therapy), and speech therapies. That doesn’t mean your child will need all three; however, these are the most recommended for individuals with autism. These services also have the most research in terms of treatment for individuals with autism.
  5. Call your insurance carrier to get a list of providers in your network.
  6. Look for supports available in your area, like parent groups, activities, sibling support groups, and other events.
Parent seeking her for their autistic daughter.

At Shaping Change, based on experience, we know this process can be overwhelming. We are here to help, please contact us to schedule a complimentary consultation.