I got asked by the director of my Practicum site if i would meet with a parent & grandparent of a child at my site, to talk about Autism (they’re wondering if the child might be on the spectrum—grandma is in education & suspects it, dad is still a bit resistant, but open to talking about the idea of getting the child tested).
I’m NOT a child Psych, Social Worker, or even a Child Life Specialist yet. I just have my AA degree as a Child Life Assistant, am completing an AA in Early Childhood & Youth Development, and i work part-time (5 mornings a week) in a “Low Functioning” room at an Autism Day Treatment program*... and because i’m NOT AT ALL qualified to suggest that they go for Dx services (and totally uncomfortable with the idea of that, anyway!), i am totally looking at this as a way to simply educate someone who doesn’t know about ASD’s, and to try to calm some of those “fears of the unknown” the child’s father may have, if they DO decide to seek a Dx eventually.
My questions for you, if you would be so kind as to help out:
What was helpful or unhelpful as you started to suspect your child was non-neurotypical?
What resources did you find useful, helpful, or UNhelpful as you decided to learn more, or seek a diagnosis?
Who/what helped to allay your fears, if you didn’t know much about ASD’s/ Childhood Mental Health issues before YOUR child was being checked?
If you could go back to those early days, when you knew your child was “different” but was not yet Dx’d, what would you have liked/found supportive?
Also, what would you do differently if that were possible to do?
Thanks for taking the time to read these, and if any of y’all chose to answer them, thanks for that, too!💖💗💓💞
I know that one of my main goals is fear-allayment, and helping the father to understand that IF the child is non-neurotypical, diagnosis and Early-Intervention are much preferable to waiting and delaying intervention.
I’m thinking that the way i’ll probably try to frame my end of that part of the conversation is “What *I* would do, personally, having the background i do, if i suspected a child of mine may be somewhere on the spectrum, or otherwise neurodiverse” and just educate him on how common it is to have a child with some form of neurodiversity nowadays.**
*I’ve been there 1 1/2 years now and i LOVE it!😁 I read research regularly, and i end up talking to my pulltab customers allthetime about that job and the good things we do there/have done for a child they know, because i often wear my work-branded hoodie.
I’ve even had strangers stop me to ask if i work there, and—similar to my pulltab customers—they tell me stories about how the company i work for helped THEIR child—with the initial Dx, or services, or in some cases, even as Day Treatment kiddos🤗😄😁
**Not necessarily because there are MORE now, simply because we TEST & look for them more often now, and we’ve gotten better at catching them!
For cryin’ out loud, when i was a child, ADHD was “rare,” and as an adult, i just recently discovered i have it—got my OWN Dx less than a month ago!😉