Receiving news about a loved one’s autism diagnosis may often feel troubling, with many questions floating through your mind as you wonder how it will affect your family. However, while it can be easy to give in to the thoughts of a setback, finding positivity in the face of an autism diagnosis is crucial to keeping your family healthy.
What is Autism?
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), or Autism as it is commonly known, is a developmental condition that generally refers to a wide range of behavioral and social challenges. However, ASD is a condition that exists on a spectrum which means that there is no single type of autism but several subtypes. This spectrum means that two people diagnosed with autism may be affected differently by the condition.
Readjusting your family’s lifestyle after an autism diagnosis is the first step in creating a thriving support system for your child. However, this can be extremely challenging if your family is not in the right place. Fortunately, this does not have to be the case. At Courageous Kids Counseling, New York, we believe that receiving care is one of the best defenses against the blow that an autism diagnosis may throw.
Handling The News of an Autism Diagnosis as a Caregiver
Although most parents or caregivers may have already had a sense that their child was finding it a bit difficult, receiving the confirmation of a diagnosis can still be troubling. After this news, it can be common to go through a stream of emotions, such as guilt, fear, or frustration. Additionally, as children with autism need special care financially and mentally, it can also be easy to feel overweighed by the burden.
However, your behavior at this time will be crucial in your child’s successful navigation through life. While you may feel a lot of pain during this moment, you must not shy away from it.
Instead, we suggest finding a safe space where you can calmly voice out your feelings, giving yourself room to breathe. In such moments, you must remember that it will be impossible to create a support system for your child to stand on without you acting as a steady base.
If you are currently struggling to cope with your emotions after your child has received an autism diagnosis, we strongly suggest seeking help. Family therapy is one of the most definitive types of support we offer at Courageous Kids Counseling, New York. This form of counseling is a proven way to introduce a new equilibrium for your family, giving everybody the tools they require to adjust and cope with the news.
At Courageous Kids Counseling, we also believe in offering a personalized approach during our family therapy sessions. This personal touch allows us to adjust to the needs of each family, which is especially important when dealing with the spanning effects of autism.
If you have any questions about how we use family therapy to help parents and caregivers tackle autism diagnoses, don’t hesitate to call. Our therapists have several years of experience delivering family counseling and will be delighted to answer any questions you may have.
Handling the News of an Autism Diagnosis as a Sibling
The love that siblings have for each other can be powerful and spirited. Nobody wants to see their brothers or sisters go through excessive pain or distress. The strength of this bond is one of the main reasons why receiving the news of an autism diagnosis in a sibling can often feel gut-wrenching.
However, remaining encouraging and proud of your sibling during this time is one of the best ways to show support. Remember, autism is not a disease, and receiving the diagnosis does not mean that your brother or sister has changed. Instead, confirming that your sibling is on the spectrum allows them to get the care and help they deserve.
Further down the line, you may also feel a hint of resentment towards your sibling after they receive their diagnosis. This anger may be because your brother or sister may start getting far more attention from your parents or because you feel a bit of shame towards them. If you are in this boat, this is also completely normal. Yet, letting go of these feelings is going to be crucial.
Unfortunately, we understand that this is easier said than done. This need to get into the right mental state for you and your sibling is one of the core reasons we believe family therapy is tremendously important after receiving news of a diagnosis.
Our sessions offer a safe space for siblings to air out any harbored emotions or sentiments. This honesty helps provide the steadiness they need to protect their brother or sister and show love.
If you are a parent of a child with autism and believe that their siblings are equally having a hard time, don’t hesitate to bring them along for family therapy. At Courageous Kids Counseling, New York, we consistently personalize counseling sessions, tailoring them to fit your family.
To learn more about how we use family therapy to help the siblings of children with autism, ping us a message or book a free consultation. Our therapists will be happy to help.
Handling the News of an Autism Diagnosis as a Grandparent or Member of the Extended Family
Ignoring the role you can play as a member of the extended family is one of the biggest mistakes anybody can make. Family is one of the strongest bonds that humans have, but these ties are only as firm as we hold them. Recognizing the burden your family may be under because of the diagnosis and chipping in will always go a long way.
Fortunately, as a member of the extended family, there are several ways that you can help out. Maintaining the same level of social interactions can create a positive feeling within the family, as this can be a great indication that your support for them is unwavering.
We also recommend going a step further by organizing family bonding events for everyone. These activities can help create a safe space for all family members to ease into the news.
Additionally, if you were already close to the child diagnosed with autism, then we cannot overstate the importance of maintaining that relationship. People with autism often struggle to develop such strong bonds, so having a supportive link will always play an enormous role in their development.
However, before doing any of this, you must come to terms with the news of the diagnosis. Having to accept that certain things will change can always be challenging. Yet, such acceptance is necessary for the family. If you have recently received such news but are currently struggling to deal with it, we suggest looking no further than therapy. Counseling is an unrivaled method of healthily handling sudden changes, such as the news of an autism diagnosis.
Don’t hesitate to drop us a call to learn more about therapy at Courageous Kids Counseling, New York.
Coping With An Autism Diagnosis Moving Forward
The impact of an autism diagnosis can be far-reaching, touching different areas of your life. This tentacle-like nature makes it especially important to prepare for the changes that autism will introduce in the coming years.
While we already understand that children with autism require significant support, you may not be able to provide adequate help on your own. In most cases, you will need to build in medical support as part of your support system, which can be costly. Depending on where your child sits on the spectrum, they may also need specialized healthcare, which will add to the bill.
Additionally, several children with autism may also need specialized educational support, and provision for this also tends to be expensive. Generally, this added price often means that most families must forego certain expenses to ensure that adequate care remains provided.
Children with autism often require special attention to ensure their well-being. Unfortunately, this need for observation may require a change in the structure of your home, especially if you and your spouse both work. In most cases, one parent or caregiver may have to forego their work and income to ensure that their child receives adequate care, making things more challenging.
Get Support For Your Family at Courageous Kids Counseling, New York
While your loved one must receive as much help as you can offer, neglecting your own needs is detrimental to the process. Remember, the body keeps the score. Not taking care of yourself mentally and bottling up all your emotions and feelings is dangerous to your overall well-being. Eventually, our bottled emotions tend to spill out, and when they do, the people closest to us often get the most stains.
However, it does not have to be this way. Family therapy makes it possible to care for you and your child, enabling a positive support system that will last years. If you believe that your family will benefit from therapy, don’t push it off or wait for a better time, contact Courageous Kids Counseling today. We will be delighted to offer any help we can.