Dread. Fear. Panic. Sadness. Overwhelm.
These are all feelings that can flood a parent the second they get their child’s autism diagnosis.
And that isn’t helped by the doctors pouring into the doom and gloom narrative and making parents even more terrified for their Autistic child’s future.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
The truth is, your child’s autism diagnosis doesn’t have to be the worst thing in the world. In fact, it can be the best thing that ever happened.
But I know that if you just got your child’s autism diagnosis you might be rolling your eyes at me because nothing could feel further from the truth.
That’s why I want to walk you through 3 simple “Think This, Not That” Diagnosis Shifts that will help you start to change the way you see your child’s autism diagnosis.
(Pssst… Click here to grab your free autism diagnosis poster pack!)
Think This Not That Diagnosis Shifts
If we haven’t met yet, hey friend, I’m Kaylene!
I’m an Autistic adult and parent-coach that helps parents of autistic children drop the “autism mom” label and become the parent-advocate that their kids truly need.
So if you’re looking to be able to truly accommodate your child, balance your family life, and create real change through advocacy, feel free to hop over to AutisticMama.com/Apply and fill out the form to access an advanced private training!
Think I’m Processing Not I’m Grieving
A ton of parents immediately think “I’m grieving” when they get their child’s autism diagnosis, but you truly don’t need to grieve anything.
The truth is, your child is alive and well.
An autism diagnosis didn’t take anything away from you or your child, in fact, it gave you both an incredible gift of insight and understanding!
Instead of thinking “I’m grieving”, I encourage parents to think “I’m processing”.
Not only is it more accurate (you’re processing shocking news, not grieving profound loss), but it also is a much more neutral term that’s less harmful to your child and all Autistics.
(Related: Why Do Parents Grieve Their Autistic Children?)
Think This is Unexpected Not This is Terrible
It’s also common for parents to think “this is so terrible” when they first get their child’s autism diagnosis.
And this is made even more common by doctors, therapists, and other professionals acting like an autism diagnosis is terrible.
But thinking this way isn’t helpful for you or your child, and it’s likely keeping you in a spiral of dark thoughts.
Instead of thinking “this is terrible”, I encourage parents to think “this is unexpected”.
Similar to the last shift, this is likely more accurate (most of the time, a diagnosis is fairly shocking for parents), and it’s less emotionally charged.
(Related: Check out the Autism Journey Diagnosis Journal Here!)
Think I’ll Focus On Today Not I’m So Worried About the Future
The last thing I find parents get stuck on after their child’s diagnosis is worrying (constantly) about the future.
This often looks like asking yourself “will they ever…” or “what if…” questions.
While this worry can feel productive, it’s really just keeping you anxious, and the truth is no one knows your Autistic child’s future.
So instead of constantly worrying about the future, I encourage parents to think “I will focus on today”.
Today is known. Today is true. Today is solid ground under your feet.
Basically, today is the reality that you can focus on instead of spiraling in anxiety over a future that may not even happen.
(Related: I have an entire Accepting Autism Masterclass about processing your child’s diagnosis. Check it out here!)
Now after reading this, you might still feel a bit (or, let’s be real, a lot) overwhelmed.
That’s why I’ve made it super simple for you to start.
Click here to download the free Autism Diagnosis poster pack.
It will walk you through some journal prompts to process your child’s diagnosis, a few simple shifts to neurodiversity thinking, and these four core functions of Autism-Positive parenting.
With this poster pack, you’ll be on your way to becoming the parent-advocate your child needs.
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