Just Diagnosed

Hi my 4 (nearly 5) year old son was diagnosed as having 'autistic spectrum disorder' on Wednesday. I am launching myself into trying to digest all the information out there while trying to figure out the next step. Any advice/direction appreciated.

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  • Look at the 50 questions aspergers test and identify the behavioural patterns the child is demonstrating. I am 52 nearly and I am still coming to terms with my real self. I self diagnosed last year and I am waiting for an assessment but don't need one to know who or what I am.  I am married with two adult children and a daughter like myself. There is much thinking of helping children adapt to real life or be normal. Autistic people are by definition not the way you want them to be. Nor are they naturally able to be so. We fit in by mastering behaviour patterns that we observe to fit in. This is not always successful. We have less self control than everyone else. Nothing changes that truth. So my advice is take the time to get to know who the real person is. Do not expect you child to be normal. Do not expect understanding from professionals. Do not expect understanding from your social group or society. Live your life by appreciating the value and integrity of the person that is your different child. Help your child recognise their difference as early as possible. Mentor them into accepting their difference and what it is. A very strong personal identity is the best foundation. You are there to confirm and celebrate it. You are there to help them deal with real life. Explain to them what other children and teachers expect. Explain as many times as you have to about being different. I read the book by Gillian Drew about Autism as an adult. wow. wish I knew this stuff when I was growing up. Your child will react/behave and think differently. Come to terms with that and start to celebrate and foster the good differences. Help them to exercise as much self control as they are able to by asking them why they are doing something. So learning responsibility as early as possible. Help them to learn at their pace. Your patience will be tested to the max. Films like the accountant help. Accept their differences as early as possible and mould them slowly and gradually into being able to fit in when and how at their pace. Be open and honest with everyone about your situation. Regards.Daniel.

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