It seems like I’ve had a lot of parents come to me recently with children who were newly diagnosed. This brings up the common question, "Where do I start?" The answer to this has been given in some of the first articles I wrote, but I’m going to try to give some of the initial advice I tell parents. This may seem repetitive to some, but hopefully it will help new readers.
As always, early intervention is the key to helping any child have a more successful life. This means that as soon as you get a diagnosis you need to start therapies. These can vary depending on the child’s need. This can be anything from speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, sensory therapy, and behavior therapy. Understand the each child is different and the specialists, psychologists and psychiatrists, etc. will know what is necessary. If your not sure though you should as the therapist in question.
The therapy, along with working with the child at home is the best thing. I would ask all therapists what you can do at home, but don’t forget to not overwork them.
We wanted Konner to have therapy all the time until we realized it wasn’t fun for him, and that we needed to let him have a break.
Newly diagnosed children are probably in research mode, which is a good place, but be careful where you get your information. There’s some crazy stuff out there. You have to make sure that what you are getting is from a reputable site. Don’t hesitate to ask questions. Remember you’re not trying to fix them. They’re not broken. They just need help to cope with the issues they have due to the autism, ADHD, etc.
This being the summer it’s important that that you continue receiving services (OT, speech, etc.). If you revive them during the school year you can have it written into the IEP to continue those services in the summer if the IEP team feels the student is going to regress during the time off.
The main thing is to just keep doing anything you can to help your child. As always, you’re welcome to contact me about resources and I will help any way I can.