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Your Child Has Autism. Now What?

For some parents, having a child diagnosed with autism can be disconcerting, but it may not be unexpected. The patterns of behavior and social interaction may finally make sense. If you relate to this, you should know that nothing has changed. Your child is still the person you know and love.

In fact, you now have a gateway to understanding the challenges your child faces and the opportunities available to provide support for your child. It’s also time to partner with Smita Tandon, MD, of Dr 2 Kids in Fountain Valley, California, who’s an autism specialist.

Dr. Tandon and her team can help you understand the specifics of your child’s place on the autism spectrum, since it’s a highly variable condition. Examinations, evaluations, and screenings can help provide a complete picture of the needs of your child. Here are some points to consider as you help your child navigate Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). 

Reset yourself

Every child depends on their parents as a foundation for their lives. This doesn’t change when autism appears, so it’s time for a deep breath and a new focus. It’s natural to feel worried, intimidated, overwhelmed, and even frightened, but keep in mind that this is a natural part of a short-term adjustment for you.

It’s estimated that 1 child in 54 has ASD, so there are plenty of households in America that continue to function. If your child was diagnosed with a food allergy, you’d make the changes needed, and you’d carry on with life. Autism has different challenges, but the principle remains the same. 

Get early intervention

Early detection and treatment is important with many medical conditions, and the same holds true for ASD. Depending on your child’s case and its severity, they may benefit from targeted therapy, such as any of the following:

Dr. Tandon and her team can help you determine the best options for your child. It is also recommended to follow up with a Neurology specialist for Autism at the Center of Autism, UCI. They provide several mental health and behavioral specialists through the mental health benefits of insurance. 

Adjust your perceptions

Autistic children often have different sensory experiences than those you may be familiar with, so take some time to learn what they are. A child with verbal communication challenges, for example, can still make their thoughts known, and, with time, you’ll be able to tune into their nonverbal expressions and body language.

Similarly, children who engage in repetitive movements may be filling in the need for sensory stimulation that’s in short supply elsewhere. These movements are often no different in purpose than the nervous traits in others, such as fingernail-chewing or foot-tapping.

If your child has autism, or if you want to see if your child might have it, Dr. Tandon can help. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with Dr 2 Kids for an in-person visit or telehealth meeting.

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