Many parents feel a range of emotions after their child’s diagnosis including shock, sadness, fear, confusion, guilt, anger, and grief. Parents may also feel overwhelmed, helpless, and isolated. Below we will discuss, helping parents cope with an autism diagnosis. It is important to recognize that all of these feelings are valid and normal reactions to a difficult situation.
Know it is normal.
- It’s okay to express your feelings.
- It’s okay to cry, to be angry, to be frustrated, to be scared.
- It’s okay to be overwhelmed and to feel a sense of loss.
- It’s okay to feel all of these things and to talk about them with someone you trust.
- It’s important to find a way to cope with the diagnosis and to take care of yourself.
- It’s okay to take time to process your emotions and to find ways to express them in a healthy way.
How to relax after hearing my child’s diagnosis?
- Take deep breaths. Deep breathing can help to reduce stress and relax the body.
- Talk to someone you trust. Talking to a friend, family member, or mental health professional can provide emotional support and help you process your feelings.
- Do something enjoyable. Taking time out for something you enjoy, such as reading a book, listening to music, or taking a walk, can help to take your mind off of the diagnosis.
- Practice mindfulness. Focusing on the present moment can help to reduce stress and foster a sense of calm.
- Get plenty of rest. Being well-rested can help to improve your mood and increase your energy.
- Exercise. Exercise can help to reduce stress and improve your mood.
- Seek support. Connecting with other families who have children with similar diagnoses can provide comfort
How to become an advocate for your child?
- Educate yourself on your child’s disability. Read books, talk to professionals, and research online.
- Develop a deep understanding of your child’s individual needs.
- Establish a strong relationship with your child’s teachers and other school staff.
- Attend meetings, conferences, and workshops related to your child’s disability.
- Participate in parent organizations, such as Parent-Teacher Associations (PTAs).
- Attend Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings to ensure your child’s needs are being met.
- Speak up if you feel your child’s rights are not being respected.
- Communicate regularly with your child’s teachers and other school staff.
- Make sure your child’s IEP is up to date and meets their needs.
- Advocate for your child’s rights when it comes to education and services.
- Stay informed about laws and policies that may impact your child.
- Connect with other parents of children with disabilities and share resources and advice.
Should I tell others about my child’s diagnosis?
That is something that is ultimately up to you and your family. This is your personal life and you have no obligation to share information before you are ready. It is important to keep in mind that the more people that know about a child’s diagnosis, the more support and resources may be available for them. Ultimately, the decision is yours.
Remember the following pointers!
- It is important to remember that your child has not changed after a diagnosis.
- It is important to remember that your child is still the same person and that the diagnosis does not define them.
- It is important to provide your child with the support they need to cope with the diagnosis and to continue to provide them with unconditional love and understanding.
Feel free to check out this great article on helping parents cope with an autism diagnosis. Please do not hesitate to contact us for any additional resources or information.