How to Tell Your Autistic Child About Their Diagnosis

How to Tell Your Autistic Child About Their Diagnosis

It is common for most parents to feel fear and dread ahead of how to speak to their child about an autism diagnosis.

However, although it can be challenging to tell your autistic child about their diagnosis, it can also be beneficial to your child to speak about autism.

One of the benefits is you can begin to provide your child with therapy for autism.

A great way to tell your autistic child about their diagnosis is to learn about autism.

Your child will probably have numerous questions to ask you.

It would be best to prepare yourself to be able to inform your child about their diagnosis clearly and properly.

It will be beneficial to start to tell your autistic child about their diagnosis early.

This could be done by sharing small bits of information with your autistic child.

You could consider having discussions early with your children about the differences in people.

Autism will likely cause your child some challenges and difficulties.

It is essential to include details on some of the challenges ahead.

Your child will benefit from being aware of these differences from other children.

Find out how to tell your autistic child about their diagnosis. 

Autism Therapists in Colorado

Carrie Nelson, MS, LPCC

Carrie Nelson, MS, LPCC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Naomi Kettner, LPC, NCC

Naomi Kettner, LPC, NCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 452-4374
Laura Hunt, LPC

Laura Hunt, LPC

Colorado
(719) 452-4374
Jackie Erwin, LPC

Jackie Erwin, LPC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Stefanie Kerr, LPCC

Stefanie Kerr, LPCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 203-7021
Julia Rosales, MA, LPCC

Julia Rosales, MA, LPCC

Aurora, Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Annalise Saylor, LPCC

Annalise Saylor, LPCC

Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Lauren Day, SWC

Lauren Day, SWC

Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Rebecca Johnson, LPCC, NCC

Rebecca Johnson, LPCC, NCC

Pueblo, Colorado
(719) 696-3439
Melissa Johnston, LPC

Melissa Johnston, LPC

Colorado
(720) 449-4121

Begin With Yourself 

It is natural for your child to look to you for guidance.

An autistic child might notice differences between them and other children but still rely on you for an explanation.

One of the first steps you can take to tell your autistic child about their diagnosis is to start by educating yourself.

As a parent of an autistic child, you might feel many emotions after the diagnosis.

Some positive and negative emotions such as relief, guilt, fear, and sadness could overwhelm you.

It would help your autistic child if you took time out to understand the diagnosis of your child.

There are many resources on autism broadly and even resources for parents of autistic children.

You can also connect with some friends and family that have relevant knowledge of autism.

It might be helpful for you to join a support group or autism community.

The focus is for you to be able to understand what autism is all about and to be able to communicate that to your child.

When you start by learning and teaching yourself about autism, you will likely be able to embrace the unique differences of your child.

This means your child might generally benefit from a positive and truthful conversation about autism.

Tell Them as Soon as Possible 

Children can be very perceptive.

You might be surprised to discover that even your child has been noticing the differences between them and other children.

This is why it is important to start communicating with your child about their autism.

It might be difficult and scary for a parent to have a conversation about autism with their child.

However, there is no need to make the conversation overly serious.

Try to make autism an ordinary conversation to have with your child.

For example, you could begin by telling your child the differences between most human beings.

Subsequently, you could mention how your child is different from other children.

Storybooks are another tool you could use to start a conversation about autism at an early age for your autistic child.

Rather than approaching autism as a topic to be discovered at once, you can begin having conversations with your child gradually.

Although it is understandable that you might feel fear, it will help the development of your child to start early.

An essential part of how to tell your autistic child about their diagnosis is beginning as early as possible.

Discuss Regularly 

The diagnosis of autism for a child is not a one-off conversation to have with the autistic child.

It is unlikely that you would be able to cover the topic of autism once.

It is more probable that telling your child about their autism diagnosis will lead to other questions and conversations.

One of the most important things to consider when you want to tell your autistic child about their diagnosis is to communicate the conversation is open.

It is important to make your child feel safe enough to ask questions.

You could also prepare questions to understand how your child is feeling.

It is understandable if your child has no questions.

However, it is vital to ensure your child knows they can reach out to you at any time.

Usually, during their childhood, your child will likely have many questions for you.

The manner you begin the discussion about the diagnosis of autism will likely have long-lasting effects on future conversations about the diagnosis.

A good part of telling your child about their diagnosis is to check in with your autistic child regularly. 

Autism Therapists in Colorado

Autism Therapists in Colorado

Carrie Nelson, MS, LPCC

Carrie Nelson, MS, LPCC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Naomi Kettner, LPC, NCC

Naomi Kettner, LPC, NCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 452-4374
Laura Hunt, LPC

Laura Hunt, LPC

Colorado
(719) 452-4374
Jackie Erwin, LPC

Jackie Erwin, LPC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Stefanie Kerr, LPCC

Stefanie Kerr, LPCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 203-7021
Julia Rosales, MA, LPCC

Julia Rosales, MA, LPCC

Aurora, Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Annalise Saylor, LPCC

Annalise Saylor, LPCC

Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Lauren Day, SWC

Lauren Day, SWC

Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Rebecca Johnson, LPCC, NCC

Rebecca Johnson, LPCC, NCC

Pueblo, Colorado
(719) 696-3439
Melissa Johnston, LPC

Melissa Johnston, LPC

Colorado
(720) 449-4121

Recognize Challenges 

As much as a parent might want to prevent difficulty for a child, sometimes difficulty is inevitable.

It is very likely that your child will struggle in some areas primarily due to autism.

This is a crucial detail to tell your autistic child about their diagnosis.

It is important to prepare your child ahead of some of these challenges.

Although most times, your child might have already started experiencing the difference and peculiar challenges.

This might lead to feelings of isolation and sadness about the obstacles.

When you tell your child about their autism diagnosis, your child might receive context to understand that the challenges are not unique.

It might give your child relief to find out others face challenges and difficulties.

Common difficulties you could mention to your autistic child are meltdowns, stimming, sensory sensibilities, and difficulty making friends.

You could even discuss the means for your child to address and manage the challenges.

This will likely fill your child with optimism about the future.

When discussing the challenges and difficulties that your autistic child might face, try not to be dishonest about the expectations, as this can give your child a false sense of security.

Discuss Strengths 

The other side of the coin of autism is that despite its challenges, it has its positive aspects.

Try to discuss how autism makes your child different and its strengths.

Creating a balance between the peculiarities between the positive and negative benefits of autism would be very helpful for your child.

It is important to remember that autism is a spectrum with different traits.

However, some common examples of strengths for most autistic people involve being straightforward, having great memories, and having a passion for certain things.

Your autistic child will likely be encouraged by you.

A great way to highlight the strengths of the autistic community is to make use of role models.

Consider using role models across different sectors of life to explain that autism has many positives.

You could consider finding autistic role models in your community.

It is important to tell your autistic child about their diagnosis in a way that discusses both the positives and strengths of autism.

Children with autism can struggle with their confidence and self-esteem.

The manner you tell your autistic child can go a long way to shape how they view themselves.

Conclusion

How to tell your autistic child about their diagnosis can be a difficult topic.

Even when you believe it would help your child understand parts of them.

You can provide support for autism by sharing details about autism with your autistic child by beginning with yourself, starting discussions early, having continuous discussions, recognizing challenges and difficulties, and discussing strengths and differences.

Resources 

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June 18th, 2024

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