Monday, November 16, 2009

I Think My Child Has Autism: What Do I Do

If I just learned my child had Autism there are two things I would start to work on immediately. The first is getting a good evaluation. Even if your child is young. The second thins I would do is start working on early intervention services right away. I would do this no matter what any one else thought.

A good evaluation is sometimes hard to get. Typically parents take their child to the pediatrician. There are many pediatricians that still will tell parents to wait. My suggestion is to trust your gut. Although doctors are more and more taking parents seriously trust your gut. Try another doctor.

You can also contact your local Parent Training and Information Center or your local Autism Society and ask. Although they will not tell you which doctor to go to they can give you a list of local or some what local doctors. Keep asking and looking until you are satisfied. I am heart broken when I bump into parents who have known there was some type of problem for years and did not get answers.

If you think your child has autism or any delay and is three or younger start looking for help at the same time. You should call your state’ public health system or Mental Retardation/ Developmental Disabilities System. As much as I hate the term Mental Retardation, it is a specific medical term that will get the attention of medical personnel. They can hook you up with your state’s Early Intervention system. It is called different things but keep looking and asking.

They will do their own evaluation and start needed therapies. Even if you are wrong and your child is just a slow starter they will be able to help. Insurance or Medicaid can help pay for this. Remember look for free or inexpensive services first.

If your child is over three call the education system in your area. They can do a free evaluation. It is a process but keep at it. If they provide services they can do it free of charge.

Time is of the essence. Get any therapies your child qualifies for as quickly as possible. Be as diligent as you can about getting them there or being available. There is much, much research behind the theory that children with autism or any other disability will benefit from early help.

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