Sunday, February 27, 2011

Advice for Parents of Newly-diagnosed Children

From an Interview with Association for Science in Autism Treatment Board Member, Cyndy Hayes
Interview by David Celiberti, Ph.D., BCBA-D

"Any advice for parents of newly-diagnosed children?

Yes, I do have a few suggestions:

Become an autism expert. Learn as much as you can.

Be a discriminating consumer of products, programs and services. Examine outcomes – require and make sure you understand the data.

Understand and challenge any assumptions about your child that limits him or her. You are the expert on and voice of your child. Build an effective team of professionals for your child, but you drive the process.

Work with other families; they have similar needs and can be a great source of information and support. Together you can do more.

And even though this is a huge challenge and it often feels like you have to take it one day at a time, find those moments when you have just a little bit of reserve energy. Use this time to take the long view.

Autism is a lifelong disability. Lifelong planning is critical to providing quality lifelong support. This means seeking legal and financial advice. It also means creating a vision for what your child’s life can look like at its best and creating a plan to make that a reality.

And finally take a deep breath; take lots of deep breaths. Take care of yourself and if you have a partner in this journey, take care of each other. You can do this!" 

Copyright © 2010. The Association for Science in Autism Treatment (ASAT). All Rights Reserved.


  1. My advice is also to read about autism, but to be careful. When we just got our diagnosis, we read everything, including case stories and stuff. It's overwhelming. If you learn about basic treatments and symptoms, you can best help your specific child. Don't just read something cuz it deals with autism. My advice, for what it's worth.

  2. Thanks for sharing! There is so much information out there, it's very easy be overwhelmed. It's a challenge to sort out which resources will be most helpful for your family.