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How did you feel when your child was diagnosed?(4 Posts)
We've felt like we knew since my son was 12 months, and on reflection there were signs of autism before that, he is now 23 months. Met with a clinical psychologist today who said she believes it's very likely and he will be tested in a few weeks officially, but all signs point to ASD.
I felt such a mix of emotions afterwards, some I couldn't articulate but I just know they were strong. I guess I could identify relief, sadness, a feeling that I wasn't a failure because my son won't do certain behaviours, worried about the future and the unknown, a need to defend him after we spent an hour talking about all the things he does "wrong"
I know he will lead a happy and fulfilling life and I will do everything in my power to support him.
How did you feel? And did this change?
I was very upset right afterwards, even though I was expecting it. Part of me just hoped that it wasn’t the case. I think I worked through the different stages to acceptance quite quickly though. It wasn’t that I didn’t love who my son was but it just made the future so much more uncertain and worrying and I found that very hard at first. My ds was diagnosed at 3.11 and I knew from when he was two.
I was very upset when we were first told that they thought it was likely she was autistic (aged 3: was also slightly sleep deprived as her brother was 10 days old!) Just overwhelmed I think, and you feel so scared for them and worried whether they will be happy or not. At that point it was a real shock: I really thought they would say she was just shy or sensitive (because I saw a lot of similarities to myself, and thought of myself as a shy/sensitive kid).
By the time we actually got the formal diagnosis, about a year later, I was less emotional. I think we knew it was coming really, and I'd read a lot more by then and felt a lot more comfortable with the neurodiverse world and confident that with the right support and guidance DD could live a very happy life.
It is very overwhelming. It's natural to feel all the emotions. The good thing is that after you get the Dx hopefully the amount of time you'll need to spend discussing and thinking about "deficits" (which, as you say, are generally just differences) will hopefully reduce. I know people feel similarly that it's a very negative process going through EHCP or DLA applications, which luckily we haven't had to do, so I'm sure we have it easier than many - but day to day I don't think of DD in terms of deficits at all. Yes, there are things she struggles with because of her autism. There are also things my DS struggles with because of his neurotypicality (total drama-llama!) Day to day we just adjust to each other as individual people and all is well, and each of us learns to overcome or work around our challenges and enjoy our gifts as best we can.
If you are looking for online support, I strongly recommend the Nurturing Neurodiversity YouTube channel and FB group. It's a very welcoming and positive place, and lots of good information and ideas. I wish it had been around when we were going through Dx as I found some pretty scary stuff in the early days!