been 10 years since my son was diagnosed with autism at the age of three.
those days, you got your diagnosis and you were sent on your way to deal with
it. Very little information regarding treatment, agencies, education or help of
any kind was provided.
It was pretty much a “Yes, your son has autism… don’t
hit let the door hit you on the way out” kind of an approach.
even know where to get started. Keep in mind – this was long before social media.
Finding autism support and connecting with other families was not a click away.
But even in those early days, I learned quickly that my very best resource was
other parents and I stand by that today. With so many kids affected, there are
more and more parents with experience that you can turn to.
You can find moms everywhere. School is a great place to start. If you can
find moms with a child on the spectrum who are attending the school your
child will be attending, connect with them. They can give you the
ins and outs of the special education resources available, how to
negotiate support for your child, which teachers are best to deal with and
basically how to work the system in the best possible way for your child.
Going to school is a big move for our kids (and us!) so connecting with
school moms prior to school enrollment is key.
I wandered into an autism support group and
truly found my people. But you have to find the right group. Some groups
are for parents to share in their concerns and maybe have a little cry and
get support that way. My support group suited me because we were a group
about action. The facilitator was fierce – we were all there because we
wanted the best outcomes for our kids and we left with actual tasks to
report back on at the next meeting. There was no “There, there, everything
will be OK.” And that was fine with me. Make sure your autism support
group has the same goals as you do to get the most out of it.
There are countless Facebook groups, Yahoo
groups and online communities. What I would have done for that resource 10
years ago! These groups are a great place to have discussions, ask
questions and get answers. And who isn’t blogging these days? There are
amazing blogs written by parents of children with autism who share their
journeys. Find some you connect with and you have instant community.
have to do this alone. We are here waiting to help you. Find us.