Connect with us
Apply Now

Health + Fitness

The first 5 steps you should take if you suspect your child has Autism

Suspecting your infant, toddler, or child has Autism can be confusing, overwhelming, and even frightening for some families. It’s so important, first and foremost, to reach out to your support system and allow yourself the help you likely need as you navigate this new territory.

If you are like every parent and think you may be “overreacting”, check out this screening tool called the M-CHAT-R to determine if and when you should contact your child’s pediatrician to discuss autism symptoms. When you’re ready, follow these steps to obtain an official autism diagnosis and begin gathering resources for your child.

  1. Document your concerns– what are you noticing that is “different” from a child’s typical development? Does she not respond to her name, rarely make eye contact, or not display effort to babble or be social? These and other common symptoms should be jotted down so that you remember them should it become time to discuss symptoms further with a qualified professional.
  2. Reach out to your child’s pediatrician with your concerns if you believe they are substantial. The sooner children receive intervention and ABA services for autism symptoms, the better chance of social and academic success they will likely have in their future. Parents can request their child be screened for autism through their child’s primary care physician or state’s early intervention program if their child is under the age of 3.
  3. Begin looking for services you suspect your child will need. Federal law allows screening tools that identify symptoms of autism as adequate documentation for children to begin receiving services such as speech, language, occupational therapy, and/or physical therapy. Don’t wait! Some of these services in your community have long waiting lists, and you want to find a therapist in any given specialty that you feel comfortable seeing on a regular basis.
  4. Connect- Autism cases are on the rise and have been for several years now, meaning you are not alone in this new journey. You are encouraged to seek social connections with other parents who may be in similar situations as yours. Online or in-person groups seek to connect parents of autistic children so that they may gain support in terms of resources for their child and their own mental health.
  5. Plan- like many parents who have children with special needs, you’ll find that you need to stay ahead of the situation to avoid being overwhelmed by the healthcare system, insurance, and other headaches you’ll likely experience as your child’s parent. You’ll need to prepare to be the advocate your child needs in order to get them all the services they need and are entitled to under federal and state law. It’s recommended that parents look a year or two ahead, focusing efforts on forming 504 plans or IEPs, or locating a suitable school if public school won’t be appropriate.

It may seem like a lot, and not to discredit you rockstar parents, it is a physical and mental challenge raising a child with Autism. However, as the autism population has grown, so haven’t resources for children, teens, and even adults with autism, and their families.

Insurances are obligated to pay for evidence-based therapies such as Applied Behavior Analysis, speech, etc., so those are battles that are thankfully in the past. Know that some days will be harder than others, but an entire community and support system will accept you with open arms and help you navigate the new territory that is life with an autistic child.

Continue Reading

Copyright © 2022 Disrupt ™ Magazine is a Minority Owned Privately Held Company - Disrupt ™ was founder by Puerto Rican serial entrepreneur and philanthropist Tony Delgado who is on a mission to transform Latin America using the power of education and entrepreneurship.

Disrupt ™ Magazine
151 Calle San Francisco
Suite 200
San Juan, Puerto Rico, 00901

Opinions expressed by Disrupt Contributors are their own. Disrupt Magazine invites voices from many diverse walks of life to share their perspectives on our contributor platform. We are big believers in freedom of speech and while we do enforce our community guidelines, we do not actively censor stories on our platform because we want to give our contributors the freedom to express their opinions. Articles are not commissioned by our editorial team, and opinions expressed by our community contributors do not reflect the opinions of Disrupt or its employees.
We are committed to fighting the spread of misinformation online so if you feel an article on our platform goes against our community guidelines or contains false information, we do encourage you to report it. We need your help to fight the spread of misinformation. For more information please visit our Contributor Guidelines available here.

Disrupt ™ is the voice of latino entrepreneurs around the world. We are part of a movement to increase diversity in the technology industry and we are focused on using entrepreneurship to grow new economies in underserved communities both here in Puerto Rico and throughout Latin America. We enable millennials to become what they want to become in life by learning new skills and leveraging the power of the digital economy. We are living proof that all you need to succeed in this new economy is a landing page and a dream. Disrupt tells the stories of the world top entrepreneurs, developers, creators, and digital marketers and help empower them to teach others the skills they used to grow their careers, chase their passions and create financial freedom for themselves, their families, and their lives, all while living out their true purpose. We recognize the fact that most young people are opting to skip college in exchange for entrepreneurship and real-life experience. Disrupt Magazine was designed to give the world a taste of that.