If your child has recently been diagnosed with Autism, please know that you are not alone in this journey. Remember that you are embarking on a marathon, not a sprint. Take a deep breath and begin charting out a structured plan of action for your child.
Early Intervention (EI) has been proven to improve outcomes. States are required to provide EI services for children under the age of three. Call your local EI Agency to get started. At the age of three, your local school district will become responsible for providing the services your child needs.
Therapies to explore:
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
Relationship Development Intervention
Social Communication/Emotional Regulation/Transactional Support (SCERTS)
It is common for individuals with autism to suffer from co-occuring medical conditions including Gastrointestinal Disease, Chronic Constipation and/or Diarrhea, Seizure Disorders, Sleep Disorders, Chronic Viral and Fungal Infections, Food Allergies and Sensitivities and more. Often, treating underlying medical issues can greatly improve some of the behaviors associated with autism.
Dietary Interventions can be extremely helpful in addressing behaviors, sleep disorders and GI problems. Several special diets have been noted as beneficial by parents including, a Gluten/Casein-Free diet and the Specific Carbohydrate Diet.
Autism conferences are a great way to become educated on the latest advancements in treatment and research and to connect with other parents. NAA hosts its annual National Autism Conference each year in November.