Tips for Supporting Your Child After a Diagnosis
We have three children with different diagnosis. Getting a diagnosis for your child can feel overwhelming at first. Whether it’s autism, ADHD, sensory processing disorder, or another neurodiversity, the news brings many emotions. This article covers key steps to support your child after receiving a diagnosis.
Seek Resources and Connect with Other Parents
First, seek out resources to better understand your child’s needs. Local support groups, online forums, and doctors can provide insights. Connecting with other parents who have been there is invaluable. They can share strategies on accommodations, therapies, school supports, and more that have worked for their child. You don’t have to figure this out alone.
“Speaking with other parents who had been through this before was the greatest source of support. They really understood the challenges we were facing.” – Amanda, mother of an autistic child.
Take it Slow with Interventions
As you try new interventions or therapies, go slowly and follow your child’s lead. Any changes should help them feel more comfortable, engaged, and regulated. If something isn’t working, try something else or circle back later when they are developmentally ready. Patience is key, both for your child and yourself. This is new for both of you. Over time it will get easier.
Advocate for Your Child Post Diagnosis
Advocating for your child will be important too. Talk to their school about accommodations and supports under an EHCP, IEP or 504 plan (Depending on which country you are in). Provide doctors and other key adults with detailed examples of your child’s needs, the more clearly and specifically you can articulate how your child responds to certain situations or stimuli. Speak up anywhere your child interacts with the world to make sure they are given what they need to thrive. You know your child best.
Focus on Self-Care
While challenging at times, parenting a neurodiverse child is incredibly rewarding. Make sure to prioritise your own self-care, seek support when needed to prevent parental burnout, and celebrate the small wins. Your child has so much to offer.
“Taking time for myself and asking family for help allowed me to be a better dad” – David P., father of a child with sensory processing disorder.
Celebrate Strengths and Show Love
Focus on your child’s gifts and strengths. Meet them with love, patience, and understanding. They need to know they are loved for exactly who they are. With the proper care and support, your child can grow into a happy, confident version of themselves. You’ve got this!