After receiving that all important diagnosis, a period of mourning follows as the family come to terms with the news. It can either be a positive or negative response but can often be seen as a negative.
Sometimes it has even been seen of families to grieve as much as a loss of their child. Though this may sound like a cliche but it’s a reality. Some parents may say that the child we imagined and dreamed of, as a family, is now suddenly replaced with a lot of uncertainties and big changes.
Parents could be in denial of the news that they have just been given. Angry, or even acceptance can come about. Although many parents will say that autism is unique in itself, though, they can also go through difficulties. Here are some steps that families can experience after the diagnosis stage...
Fear of the unknown
There are many different types of fear that can evolve throughout the first stage after getting the diagnosis. Parents may fear of the unknown of their child's future, fear of your own patience and emotional stress of dealing with your child's physical behaviour. Fearing that you have very little knowledge of autism. The most important thing is to do your research but don't get stressed by it. It will come naturally and you may self-learn through the experience of your own child as time progresses. All of this is completely normal. Every parent of an autistic child has to start somewhere, right?
Denial and acceptance
This is the stage that I'm sure has been the most common with families. The denial over the diagnosis. You can often see parent's struggling to accept the news. Parents may feel like they just don't want to accept it and then demand more answers when, in fact they just find it difficult come to terms with it. But this could take months to overcome, however, once the news have become slightly older, things will adjust and then becomes normal.
Final stage of overcoming
The final stage, that makes parents come together and accept, is a resolve to overcome. Families should then find hope and this point, they are ready to start afresh and take steps that are necessary to help their child recover.
Luckily me and my family came to terms with my diagnosis quite quickly. Although that I was a little shocked, I had soon came to terms with it and now I enjoy spreading awareness.
But not everyone is diagnosed at such a late stage, many people are diagnosed when they are small children around the age of 3-5. In this case, they should grow and eventually come to terms with it. It's never easy though no matter what age you are. When you are young, it seems the parents seem to struggle the most as they become more aware and informed about their child's autism.
Feel free to let me know your experiences and your thoughts in the comments below!