Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), is a lifelong developmental problem. While each child can be affected differently, they all have difficulties to some degree with social communication and repetitive patterns of behaviour. Some also have sensory sensitivities. It is estimated to affect around 1 in 150 Australians.
If your child has been diagnosed with ASD it’s important to get the help and support you both need.
Following are a few things to consider:
- The sooner children with ASD get early intervention services, the more effective these services can be.
- There are many different approaches to support your child’s development including behavioural, developmental, combined, family-based, therapy-based and medical interventions. It’s important to find the best approach for your child and family. Your child’s doctor or paediatrician can help you in making this decision.
- Not all information available on the internet is reliable so it’s important to consider the source of any information you find and to choose intervention programs that are evidence based. The Raising Children Network’s Parent Guide to Therapies is a good place to start. It explains the range of therapies and interventions available, the research supporting them and the estimated time and cost involved. You can access the guide on their website.
- Your local ASD support group and other parents of children with ASD can be a great source of information and support. Carer support groups could also be helpful.
- Parenting a child with ASD can be challenging and stressful and it’s important to find time to look after yourself and to spend with your partner and other children. Consider using respite care and/or ask friends and family for support when needed.
- Siblings of children with ASD can also benefit from support. The Association for Children with a Disability has some helpful resources available on their website.
For more information
Visit Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) or if you are in Australia, freecall 1800 277 328