Beyond The Autism Diagnosis

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Remember to laugh. It is one of the most important things you will do for your child. Crying over a child’s disability will not change things. Having a positive attitude, keeping your sense of humor and determination to help your child will do far more than tears. Even those who are well meaning may say things that are negative. Ignore the negative comments and criticism. You have enough to deal with, without dwelling on what others say.

Learn everything you can about the issues your child may face. Contact other parents who have children with like disabilities. They are your best resource and often word of mouth is how you learn about programs that will benefit your child. Contact organizations that deal with the disability and research as much as you can. Find out what state and federal programs your child may qualify for and apply for them. Qualifying for some programs usually makes a person eligible for others. Do not let pride keep you from using government programs meant to help you and your child. Don’t let others made you feel ashamed for using these programs. That is why these programs are around, to help those with needs.

Treat your child as though there is nothing wrong with them. Discipline them when they need it, encourage them to do their best and expect them to succeed beyond the disability. There will be limits, but if you give your child the right direction in life they will do better. Help them set positive goals.

Take care of yourself. A special needs child can take up much of your time, leaving you feeling flustered. You can not do the best for your child if you are feeling rundown. Take some time for yourself and see to your own emotional needs. Get away for an evening every once in a while. Leave your child with someone who is familiar with him and the child is comfortable with. If your leaving upsets the child have the sitter distract them while you get out. No matter what, leave the house. Your child will survive and you will get that time away that you need.

Raising your special needs child has challenges. There will be milestones and there will be setbacks, but if you keep things in perspective; with a positive attitude your child can excel beyond your expectations.

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