For some parents and caregivers, learning of their child’s autism diagnosis is a shocking experience. Many other parents may have been expecting the diagnosis and are relieved to finally have some type of answer. Following most formal evaluations, the evaluator will provide an in-depth report with recommendations. These recommendations may be for home, school, or both. Recommendations frequently include specific therapies unique to your child’s needs. It is important to begin the process of implementing the recommendations as soon as possible. There are often waitlists for some types of services, so it is crucial to begin immediately.
For children under the age of three, Early Intervention will play an instrumental role in assisting your family with coordinating additional services such as Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), speech-language therapy, occupational therapy (OT), or other services that were recommended for your child. A considerable amount of evidence-based research indicates that the earlier the intervention for a child with autism, the greater the developmental gains over time.
If your child is older than 3 years old, but not yet in school, you can request a special education evaluation from your public school district. If your child is enrolled in school and has not yet accessed special education services, you can also request a special education evaluation from the public school district and update the school on your child’s recent diagnosis. Additionally, children enrolled in private schools can also be evaluated and receive services from their school district even without attending public school. Most children who have an autism diagnosis will qualify for special education services in the form of a 504 plan or an Individualized Education Plan (IEP).
Many children with autism have challenges with behavior, adaptive skills, communication, and social skills. These skills can be targeted in school but should also be worked on outside of the school day. ABA services are often recommended for children with autism and can be delivered in-home, in the community, or in a clinic. Moreover, it may be beneficial to also seek your support in form of caregiver support groups, respite services, and community resources.
Below you will find a link to the Autism Speaks “100 Day Kit for Young Children” and the “100 Day Kit for School-Aged Children”, both kits are free. These kits offer valuable information and resources on what steps to take when adjusting to your child’s recent autism diagnosis and setting up services:
100-Day Kit for Young Children: https://www.autismspeaks.org/tool-kit/100-day-kit-young-children
100-Day Kit for School-Aged Children: https://www.autismspeaks.org/tool-kit/100-day-kit-school-age-children
New autism diagnoses can fill parents with stress and anxiety. The team at Key Autism Services has the experience and expertise to help walk you through the process of getting the therapy that is crucial to development. Contact Key today to learn more.