- Many parents struggle with what to do when their child is diagnosed with Autism. They explore the Internet in all of its wisdom to find the best advice possible. Unfortunately, they realize very quickly there are thousands of opinions out there on what you should do. So here are some simple steps to follow to get the best results.
1. Focus on getting treatment now. Do not wait! Research has proven time and time again that early intervention puts your child in the best position to be successful down the road. The professional who gave the diagnosis should be able to give you recommendations on what types of treatment your child might need.
2. Reach out to local support groups and community resources immediately! There are many non-profit local resources such as Families Helping Families or the Center for Children and Families that are in tune with what services are available in your community. Your Pediatrician should also be able to guide you. Facebook is also a great place to join virtual support groups and meet others who are affected by Autism.
3. Research your providers (therapists). Don’t just take what the Internet says about them. Talk to members of your support group and their experience. Meet with your providers face to face and ask questions like, “How long have you been a therapist, what is your ideal client, and how many clients are on your caseload?” Just because they see a lot of kids doesn’t mean they are a good provider. I would look for providers with lots of experience and low caseloads. No more than 15 clients if they are an ABA therapy provider or 25 with they are PT, OT or Speech providers.
4. When services begin, stay on top of your child’s treatment program. Ask questions like, “Why is this goal important?” and “How is this going to help my child in the future?” Make sure your provider is available to talk with you weekly if need be. Stay away from fad treatments that are not evidence/research-based treatments.
5. Do not be afraid of change. Progress with treatment can be slow, but if you do not see progress, change providers. Do not assume things will get better.
If you have questions, we would love to help. Reach out to us at info@thePACenter.com or (318) 302-6000.