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Having a child with an autism spectrum disorder

October 30, 2012

6 years ago, I had hardly heard of autism, Sure, I have seen the Tom Cruise/Dustin Hoffman movies Rainman but other than that I really didn’t know too much about the disorder.

All of this changed when, in March 2008, my eldest son Tyson was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder or ASD as it is sometimes referred as. While I had had my suspisions that there was something not quiet right with Tyson, autism didn’t cross my mind.

So, what does it mean to have a child with ASD? How does it change the way the family works? Is it difficult raising a sensory sensitive child in today’s day and age? Do I have fears for Tyson’s future?

There are literally a ton of questions that can be asked and not very easily answered with regards to ASD. For the parent of a newly diagnosed child, the internet can be both a godsend and their worst nightmare. 5 years ago there wasn’t a lot of information with regards to ASD. Now, there is so much information that it can be mind blowing.

The best advice that I can give is to simply go with the flow. ASD is like a rollercoaster ride – there are massive ups and downs to be experienced, sometimes in the same day.

The best place to start helping your child is to establish communication. Most children within the autism spectrum are unable to talk and communicate what it is that they want or need. This is one of the biggest triggers for meltdowns. PECS and/or sign language are the best places to start learning how to communicate with your child.

Once you have figured out how to communicate with each other, life with a child with ASD becomes a little bit easier.

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