Advice For New Parents Of Autistic Children
I was speaking to a mom recently over on Instagram, her gorgeous son had recently been identified as Autistic. She asked could I give her advice on where to start and how to learn about Autism and help her gorgeous Puddin.
I told her about AsIAm’s Child and Family Support Program and their Educate and Empower program and how incredible the resources were to supporting families just like hers and just like mine. I told her what had helped me most all those years ago when Conor was small, was educating myself.
Learning As Much As You Can
What has helped me most as a parent over the last almost 14 years is learning as much as I can myself on Autism. Going to workshops, was one area that helped me hugely. Even now as a professional working in the Autism field, I continue to learn as much as I can. I continue to go to workshops and read books on Autism and listen to Autistic voices on Autistic lived experience.
Workshops for me meant I also got to meet other parents like myself, who were trying their best to support their children and get the best advice they could on how to help their children. I realised very early on that the best chance my gorgeous Conor would have, was for me to learn as much as I could and to become his advocate and expert.
I realised I was the expert on my child. I was the one spending the most time with my gorgeous Conor and so I was the one who would have the most opportunity to support, scaffold and help Conor thrive.
I started to go to trainings in person back when Conor was little (he is almost 14 now) and now I attend Webinars when I can and I continue to read and study Autism.
Often parents can feel unsure of how best to help their children when they realise they are Autistic, so I recommend educating yourself from reliable sources of information on Autism always.
I have mentioned the AsIAm Educate and Empower training above, it is incredible and if you would like more information on it, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Outside of the AsIAm training I would definitely avail of any relevant trainings provided to you through your service providers. For example if trainings are provided on AAC, Communication or Sensory Processing they would be “must go” to trainings. Having a strong neuro-affirmative understanding of Autism, Communication and Sensory Processing will support you and your child, now and into the future.
I am undertaking a Masters in Speech and Language in University Galway so for me a keen area of interest is visual supports and Autistic communication. I still regularly attend training/workshops on Communication and AAC as information and research on those topics continues to evolve, so I want to always keep up to date.
In my next post I will put together a reading list for parents starting out. I have a library in my house dedicated to Autism, Communication and Sensory Processing. I will hand pick some of my favourite books on Autism and create a list for you.