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  • Casadie Morris

Autism & Pursuing a Diagnosis: Why?

What can Autism be defined as?

Mayo Clinic defines it as follows, " Autism spectrum disorder(ASD) is a condition related to brain development that impacts how a person perceives and socializes with others, causing problems in social interaction and communication."

How does this present in everyday life?

The symptoms of autism can vary widely from person to person, but some common signs and symptoms include:

  1. Social Challenges

  2. Communication Difficulties

  3. Repetitive Behaviors and Restricted Interests

  4. Sensory Sensitivities

  5. Other Behavioral and Emotional Challenges

It's important to remember that autism is a spectrum disorder, meaning that individuals can vary widely in their strengths, challenges, and levels of functioning. Some individuals may have significant support needs, while others may have milder symptoms and be highly independent.

Why is pursuing an autism diagnosis important? Does it even make a difference?

The long-term impact of an autism diagnosis can vary greatly depending on individual factors such as early intervention, access to support services, family involvement, and individual strengths and challenges. Obtaining an autism diagnosis for a child can offer several benefits:

  1. Understanding and Acceptance: A diagnosis provides a framework for understanding the child's behaviors, preferences, and challenges. It helps parents and caregivers accept the child for who they are and appreciate their unique strengths,

  2. Access to Support Services: With a diagnosis, families can access a range of support services tailored to the child's needs, such as specialized education programs, therapies (like speech therapy or occupational therapy), and interventions.

  3. Early Intervention: A diagnosis enables early access to interventions that can improve social skills, communication abilities, and overall quality of life.

  4. Educational Accommodations: A diagnosis can lead to educational accommodations and individualized education plans (IEPs) that support the child's learning needs. This might include classroom modifications, additional support from teachers or aides, or access to assistive technology.

  5. Community and Peer Support: Having a diagnosis can connect families with support groups, online communities, and resources where they can share experiences, advice, and emotional support with others who understand their journey.

  6. Parental Peace of Mind: While receiving an autism diagnosis can be challenging, it can also bring relief to parents who may have been struggling to understand their child's behaviors or developmental delays. It validates their concerns and provides a roadmap for moving forward.

  7. Future Planning: A diagnosis can help families plan for the future, including understanding potential challenges and opportunities, accessing financial assistance or disability benefits, and making informed decisions about long-term care and support options.

  8. Advocacy: With a diagnosis, families can advocate for their child's needs more effectively, whether it's within the school system, healthcare settings, or broader society. It empowers parents to be strong advocates for their child's rights and inclusion.

Overall, while receiving an autism diagnosis can be a significant moment for families, it can also open doors to resources, support, and opportunities that can positively impact the child's development and well-being.

Are you looking for services for you or your child? Call us at 253.237.3405 to learn more about what we offer.

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