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  • Writer's pictureChristine McCarty

After the autism diagnosis…

The second most asked question I get after how did you know Addy was autistic (see blog post on number one - How I knew my child was special needs) is what should I do after the diagnosis? My advice? Assemble a team and find support. Get the best support not only for your child, but for you and your family. Here are my top five suggestions on what to do after the diagnosis.

  1. Hire a team of therapists.

    1. Hire a team but remember, you will always be your child’s biggest advocate and therefore, the coordinator of care. Addy’s team includes ABA, SPL, OT, PT, and a tutor (special education certified). I meet with the team weekly to ensure we are all on the same page and working as a team. A great example is if speech is working on the sound of “m”, the OT can work on making the letter “m” where the tutor can read books focusing on the same letter. Then if PT is working on sitting crisscross, everyone on the team makes sure she sits crisscross as opposed to in a “w.” Again, these are just examples, but you get the point. Finally, ensure you have therapists that work for you and your child. Remember, assembling the team is in your hands and the final decision is always yours.

  2. Connect with other families that have a special needs child.

    1. I didn’t realize how important this was until later in our journey. Having a support system that understands what you are going through can make the hard times easier. You can relate to one another, find inspiration, play dates, etc. Strength comes in numbers!

  3. Look to your community.

    1. There are several organizations, special programs, fundraisers etc. that each community offers. I like doing Autism Speaks Walks as I feel I am giving back and yet, helping Addy. I have also found special camps in our area that support/include special needs children. Every child should be able to participate in the same or similar activities that a typical child gets to experience!

  4. Add equipment/resources.

    1. This may seem odd, but you will need things that you could never imagined existed. For us, we needed special blankets, straps for her in-toeing, chairs that are effectively exercise balls. You name it, it likely exists and may be the right solution for your needs! Click here to see some of the products we use/like.

  5. Love your child just like you did the day before the diagnosis.

    1. This likely goes without saying; however, I feel it’s important to reiterate. Your child is who they are supposed to be. They are the same person they were before the diagnosis. My favorite quote sums it up perfectly!

“Motherhood is about raising and celebrating the child you have, not the child you thought you would have. It’s about understanding that they are exactly the person they are supposed to be and that, if you’re lucky, they just might be the teacher who turns you into the person you are supposed to be.” - Joan Ryan

Much love,

Raising Addy

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