Suspect ASD in Your Child? Here's What to Do

Parents know their children inside and out. We know their quirks, their reactions, their tempers. We know when they’re happy and sad and we know how they will respond to the world around them. Until we don't.

Children on the spectrum often reach a certain point in their development and things just seem to stop. The smiles you picked up on cameras, the cooing you once responded quickly to and the playing you used to do just peter's off bit by bit and all of a sudden, you’re not sure what happened to your smiley, happy little one. This is where the suspicion of ASD comes in for some parents. Is your child no longer smiling but starting to flap and rock in excitement? Are they lining up their toys and distraught if you move them?

There are so many signs of ASD in children, but if you suspect it in any way, you need to do the following things:

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  1. See a specialist. There is a lot of controversy out there as to whether a child on the spectrum needs therapies or what the right therapy may be, but either way, you need to see a health professional to get your child diagnosed. The earlier the diagnosis, the faster they can be helped. Speaking to a pediatrician, you can ensure that your child is given the right support. Before the appointment, it’s a good idea to write everything down that you’ve noticed so that you can ensure that you are giving the right information to your doctor.

  1. Educate yourself. While it’s important to get your child the right support, they need you to be as educated as possible. One thing that parents don't realize is that there is a level of grief that comes with an ASD diagnosis. It’s not that you want your child to be different: they’re yours, quirks and all, but you want their life to be easier. Grieving the loss of that easy life is common and you shouldn't feel bad for that. Get yourself educated as best you can on Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, and any other therapies needed for children on the spectrum.

  2. Get diagnosed. Arranging an autism assessment as early as you can is imperative to their continued therapy and help. A thorough assessment and diagnosis is important if you want to ensure that you get the support that suits your child. You can then access supportive services for yourself, too, such as respite care.

  3. Get some support. Asking questions, reading about the spectrum and symptoms your child is displaying and learning as much as you can is going to help you to learn where the support is for you, too. You’re not alone in this, and it’s vital that you get support as much as your child dealing with it.

You don't have to be alone in the suspicion of ASD in your family. You just have to know where to find your village and support and lean on it as much as possible.

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