11Alive.com | Autism Special Section - Frequently Asked Questions
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#1 Jun 22, 2007
Could you tell me which public schools have better service for autistic children (ie. Sandy Springs, Dekalb or Gwinnett)? I have a fried who's moving from another state and trying to decide which area to live. Thank you for your help.
#2 Jun 22, 2007
MY CHILD'S BEEN DIAGNOSED AS HAVING AUTISM - WHAT DO I DO NOW?
Parents typically go through a wide range of emotions when their child has been given a diagnosis of Asperger's syndrome or Autism. Grief and loss are common emotions as parents invariably picture wonderful things for their child's future. The diagnosis will entail readjusting these expectations and this can be a painful process. Along with this may well be fears for the future. As developmental disorders, it is hard to predict what levels of independence and life skills an autistic child will develop by adulthood.
Dealing with the diagnosis
Some parents may experience denial of the diagnosis. This can be a normal reaction to major shock and denying the diagnosis may be a protective mechanism until the shock has worn off. On the other hand, there can be relief at finding a reason for delays in a child's development, and finding practical strategies to help their child. The most common reactions reported by parents include devastation, helplessness, surprise or relief that inexplicable behavior is finally understood (National Autistic Society 2006c).
Everyone reacts to major life events in different ways, and parents should be understanding toward each other if their reactions differ widely. Sometimes grandparents can make the situation difficult for parents, by not accepting the diagnosis. They may feel that more discipline is needed, or even that it is bad parenting.
There are clear steps that can help parents deal with a diagnosis:
• Begin steps for assessment and early intervention
• Make sure the professional who made the diagnosis fully explains your options
• Learn about behavior strategies and strategies to support communication
• Join a parents support group.
Impact on the family system
The shock of an Autism or Asperger's syndrome diagnosis can be likened to throwing a pebble into a pond. The ripples most affect the immediate family, then extended family, friends, school and the community. Siblings, grandparents and others who are close to the family will all have their different reactions. Provide everyone with information on the disorder and encourage discussion on the issue.
Getting informed about Autism or Asperger's syndrome
Parents will understandably want to learn as much information as possible and look for appropriate therapies and interventions to help their child. There are many good books available and this site provides a comprehensive overview of the many issues surrounding Autistic Spectrum Disorders. It can be very daunting at first but the overall picture will fall into place eventually.
It is completely understandable that parents would hope for a simple cause of Autistic Spectrum Disorders, and a simple cure. However, these are life long disorders - genetic component has been established as a cause, and some claim that environmental causes might also be involved, leading to much debate about diets and alternative therapies. Be open to new approaches but also have a healthy skepticism in your research. Look for evidence-based treatments where possible. Remember that early intervention can make a big difference in minimizing delays in a child's development.
Join your local Autism association and see if they have a parents support group.To read the rest of this article, go to http://www.autism-help.org
#3 Jun 23, 2007
Yes, send a child with autism to a public school... let them blossom...
#4 Jul 5, 2007
We have military insurance coverage. How can I get our insurance to cover the costs of therapy swim lessons for my autistic son?
Since: May 12
#10 May 14, 2012
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