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Coming to terms with a diagnosis

The fact that your child has ASD has nothing whatsoever to do with the way that you have been looking after them. The causes of autism are as yet unknown, but we do know for certain that autism is not caused by parenting. Parents of young children with ASDs are just like everyone else. Autism affects children from all walks of life and in all countries and cultures.

Dealing with stress

Parents of children with ASD often experience a lot more stress than other parents. Having a child with ASD can be very challenging due to their needs or behaviours. This can cause tension for individuals and also tension within relationships in the family. Disagreements about the way to manage behaviours or the way to move forward can occur. Parenting a child with ASD puts an understandable strain on couple relationships. It can very difficult to find time as a couple to do the things you enjoy together.

To last the long haul, parents need to balance their own needs along with those of their child. Don’t feel guilty about spending time on your own needs, as this will ultimately benefit your child and family.

Clickrelationships - A support tool for parents with disabled children, in collaboration with Contact - topics on handling stress, changing expectations, managing your time and separated families.

Some top tips following diagnosis

  • Remember you are a very important person in your child’s life and you have needs too! Look after yourself and try to manage stress as best you can.
  • Talk to someone you trust and feel comfortable with about how you are feeling.
  • Don’t forget that extended family can be affected too and may need help / support.
  • When you feel ready, consider contacting / joining a support group.
  • Write down any questions you may have so that you can take them with you to future appointments.
  • Find out as much as you can about autism - there are some books, websites and other resources recommended in this guide.
  • Just remember, you are not alone.

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