Learn about autism spectrum disorders—especially the specific disorder of your child. The more you know, the more you can help yourself and your child.
Be mindful to interact with and teach your child in ways that are most likely to get a positive response. Learn what is likely to trigger a melt-down for your child, so you can try to minimize them. Remember, the earliest years are the toughest, but it does get better!
Learn from professionals and other parents how to meet your child’s special needs, but remember your son or daughter is first and foremost a child; life does not need to become a never ending round of therapies.
If you weren’t born loving highly structured, consistent schedules and routines, ask for help from other parents and professionals on how to make it second nature for you. Behavior, communication, and social skills can all be areas of concern for a child with autism and experience tells us that maintaining a solid, loving, and structured approach in caring for your child, can help greatly.
Learn about assistive technology (AT) that can help your child. This may include a simple picture communication board to help your child express needs and desires, or may be as sophisticated as an augmentative communication device.
Work with professionals in early intervention or in your child’s school to develop an IFSP or an IEP that reflects your child’s needs and abilities.
Be patient and stay optimistic. Your child, like every child, has a whole lifetime to learn and grow.