Autism… For the last 8 years I’ve called it, The Other A-word. People keep debating, is it really an epidemic or are we just overdiagnosing. The numbers were 1 in 150 children back in 2005, each year those numbers get worse. The numbers are fixed some people say. But for a parents who walks out of a doctors office with that diagnosis for with that diagnosis… the one is to many.
Be sure to watch the video above. I did write a lot of the content in this post, however for topics like this, sometimes a raw unedited conversation provides more insight on the topic.
One thing parents have to really remember is to take care of themselves. Just like the stewardess tells you on the safety speech when you are on an airplane, put the mask on yourself first, then your child. If you are not eating properly, sleeping, or taking care of yourself, how can you care for your child. You will start forgetting important appointments, run out of patience, or lose the will to keep fighting for your child.
Ask for help! Couples, support each other. If one parent is burning out, step in and give them a breather. If you don’t know what to do to help the other parent, ASK!
Once you have yourself together, its time to advocate for your child. Don’t let your child fall off the map. Call doctors offices and make sure referrals have been made. If you are on waiting list, call periodically and see where you are on those list.
When my oldest was little he was on a speech therapy list. I was told it was a 12-14 months waitlists. So I waited 14 months, no letter. So I called. Turns out they had my son on the wrong list!! Someone had forgotten to check a box on his referral and he was on the 2-3 year list. They honored our referral date and we had a therapist a few weeks later, however we could have had one sooner if I had called periodically to check in. The error would have been found sooner. But image if I hadn’t followed up at all? My son would have ages off the list. So parents, call and get updates!
So please do check out my video, I go into a lot more detail. This subject is near and dear to my heart, and I hope it shows.