The first time a parent is told that their child has Autism will be a moment that they never forget.
Often, the moment has been preceded by months – or even years – of concern, guilt and even anger as their once happy and outgoing child becomes less communicative, less expressive and often less able to control their emotions.
Physical comfort, such as hugs and kisses, that used to soothe your child are no longer welcomed and unusual habits and obsessions become an important part of your child’s life. As a loving parent, you try everything to draw your child back out of the little world they’ve created for themselves, but nothing seems to work.
You talk to doctors, nurses, child-care specialists, positive parenting groups – anyone who can help you find the key to your child’s behavior. And finally, it’s confirmed: your child is diagnosed with Autism.
But, while it can be a relief to finally discover the reason for your child’s difficulties – and to realize that it’s not your fault – a diagnosis of Autism can feel like a life sentence. Parents of children with Autism experience a wide range of emotions – confusion, resentment, maybe even guilt that they were somehow unable to ‘protect’ their child from this condition. Many parents fear for their child’s future and feel certain that life will never be normal or enjoyable again.
It is vital at this difficult time in your child’s life that you put aside your fears and anger so that you can realize this one important truth: you are the key to your child’s future.
Children, especially children with Autism, are vulnerable little people and they rely on you, their parents and carers, to protect them and do what’s best for them. And, while you can’t protect your child from Autism, you can give them the tools they so desperately need to help them to live with the condition and realize the potential that’s locked up inside of them.
BUT – to be able to help your child, you need to make sure that you’re ready to work with them in the right way.
Seven dangerous mistakes – easy to make, impossible to undo
Sandra Arntzen, M.Ed, specializes in helping children with Autism. Using her twenty years of experience, Arntzen has identified seven dangerous mistakes that parents and carers can make when they are faced with a diagnosis of Autism. These mistakes, while easy to make, can halt your child’s progress or even undo the steps they’ve taken so far.
• Failing to accept the diagnosis
One of the most common – and natural – responses that most parents have when they learnt that their child has Autism is to go into a state of denial or shock. Many parents and carers don’t really know much about Autism, and what it means for them and their child, but it’s important to accept the diagnosis, embrace the diagnosis and work on moving forward with that diagnosis.
Once you accept and understand that Autism is part of your child’s life – and part of who they are – you can start working with them to unlock the potential that’s trapped inside them.
• Feeling guilty about your child’s condition
While it’s natural for parents and carers to want the best for their child – and to mourn the loss of their life ‘before’ Autism – it’s important not to let this guilt get in the way of responsible, positive parenting.
Parents who spend their lives feeling guilty about their child’s Autism – rather than accepting it as a part of who their child is – risk spoiling their child as a way of ‘making up’ for the diagnosis. While parents may feel that their Autistic child needs to be wrapped up in cotton wool and protected from the world, this dangerous tendency can keep children with Autism from progressing and can even undo the steps that they’ve taken towards leading their own lives.
Even though your child has Autism, it is important to raise them with structure, discipline, challenges and boundaries. Just like any other child, a child with Autism still needs to be pushed to become independent. Whether it’s doing their own homework, learning to feed and dress themselves or simply communicating their needs to you, your child needs to learn how to grow.
Supporting your child appropriately from the earliest possible age is crucial. Today, you can learn more about these, and the other, dangerous mistakes and learn how to avoid them. Using this completely FREE webinar by renowned Autism expert Sandra Arntzen, M.Ed, you can be the positive change in your child’s life.
Remember: you are the key to your child’s future.
Children with Autism need strong parents and carers who will give them love, support, boundaries and structure. While you might still be feeling shell-shocked by your child’s diagnosis, it’s time to take action. You can start helping your child right now.