A diagnosis of autism brings about many emotions. Sadness, fear, relief, stress – everyone feels these things. Even if an autism diagnosis is expected, when it is actually delivered it can bring an unexpected range of emotions. As a part of your diagnosis process, you may be assigned a keyworker who can help talk things through with you. We recommend talking to other parents with autistic children, as they can help you through this difficult time.
There is no right or wrong way to feel about an autism diagnosis. You may grieve for the life you thought your child or your family would have. That is very normal. It takes time to work through your feelings and to help the other members of your family come to terms with the diagnosis as well.
Although you will experience some negative aspects of autism, it is important to remember that there are many, many positives about autism as well. Here are some links to help you:
Watch Rosie King’s TED talk, ‘How Autism Freed Me to be Myself‘
Google ‘positive aspects of autism‘ for more inspirational information.
The National Autistic Society offers a free post-diagnosis booklet which can help you: http://www.autism.org.uk/free-resources
Useful phone numbers
Here are some phone numbers and links which can help you find immediate support:
Ring the NAS parent-to-parent helpline on 0808 800 4106. You can leave a message on the answerphone, and another parent of an autistic child will ring you back at a time convenient to you.
Our Facebook group is a great place to vent and ask for advice in a confidential and non-judgemental place. Equally, the Mums Caring for Disabled Children in Bristol group is also excellent for this purpose.
Anna Kennedy Online has an autism parent helpline you can ring on 07710 597 457.
Attend a support group. This is invaluable for talking to other parents in your situation. Click here for a list of autism support groups in Bristol and South Gloucestershire
Both before and after your child receives a diagnosis, you will be entitled to certain benefits. Click here to learn about the benefits you can claim.