Helping Your Child Come to Terms with his "Diagnosis"

"How do I help my 12 year old son to come to terms with his diagnosis and help him understand that it is not the end of the world?"

ASD Level 1 (High-Functioning Autism) is a "spectrum" disorder; those who have it experience various symptoms, exhibiting a range of behaviors. People with the disorder have a different way of thinking, concentrating on special interests. Many can speak eloquently and have extraordinary abilities in engineering, computer science, and systematic thinking, yet have serious difficulties with social interaction and functioning in the world.

However, the disorder is not the end of world; it is treatable. It is very normal for your son (and you) to react with sadness, self pity, anger, or depression when you receive the diagnosis. You are mourning the life you thought you were going to have. But that does not mean that you won’t have a good life; it will just be different.

If your son is willing, discuss with him his diagnosis and your plans to help him. Reassure him that he will do fine. If he can't get over his sadness and anger, get him into counseling. Once properly diagnosed, reassured, and treated, he will feel much happier and more optimistic.

Start now to educate yourself and your son. There are tons of books available for adults, children, and teens that explain High-Functioning Autism and provide information and help. Read a book and discuss it together. Then, get online and start researching symptoms and treatments. There is a wealth of information on this site!

Become involved in the forum on this site. Also find a support group in your area. Other parents will provide moral support and comfort. Your son may enjoy talking with other children with the disorder online. Be sure to monitor the sites he visits to make sure they are appropriate for him.

I want your son to know that having this disorder is not the end of the world. It creates difficulties in the social sphere, yes. But special interests can lead to career skills, and, in some cases, to career success.

Good social skills can be learned over time. With reinforcement and guidance from loving people; progress is possible. With knowledge and support from parents, teachers, mentors, medical professionals, and peers, the inner strengths of these special people shine, adding uniqueness to our world.
 
Have your son watch this video:
 


 
 
Resources for parents of children and teens on the autism spectrum:
 

==> Videos for Parents of Children and Teens with ASD
 
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COMMENTS:

Anonymous said... help him to see himself for his abilities and not his dis-ability! He is himself and not his dx. His dx is just a tool that he can use on his road to success : )

Anonymous said... The diagnosis was the best thing that's ever happened in our family! It flooded us with so much understanding and the ability to identify and work on those areas which are troublesome. It opened up so many doors to a world of resources; books, support groups, online connections - so that we don't feel a bit alone. Help is just a keystroke or a mouse click away. I slapped an "I LOVE AN ASPIE" bumper sticker on my car and we embrace the dx with humor and hope. I know my own son felt a lot better once we met some others his own age who shared his diagnosis, and maybe that would help your boy? If he would like my son to contact him, message me and I'll put you in touch:) Enjoy the journey, you're on the right track, Mom!:)
 

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