One of the reasons it seems like everyone is autistic these days is that kids are getting diagnosed earlier and earlier.
Part of this is because there has been a massive push in the last few years for “early autism diagnosis”.
You want to get your child diagnosed as early as you possibly can.
Basically, the second you see any signs of autism, they say you should start seeking out an official diagnosis.
(Especially since you can spend a lot of time waiting for that diagnosis!)
And in this circumstance… I also agree. I believe early autism diagnosis is really important… but not for the reasons you might think.
3 Reasons Why Early Autism Diagnosis Is Important (It’s Not What You Think)
See, the experts tend to push early autism diagnosis because that means you can get early intervention services.
The thought is that the earlier you start “intervening”, the better (read: more neurotypical) your autistic child will act.
Now, I’m not against all early intervention services. I am a huge fan of speech/language therapy and occupational therapy.
But it should come as no surprise that behavioral therapies like ABA aren’t my jam.
But there are three specific reasons that I think early autism diagnosis is important, so let’s dive into those!
#1 Early Diagnosis Leads to Early Understanding
The first reason I think that early diagnosis is important is that it leads to early understanding.
See, the earlier you know that your child is autistic, the earlier you can start to understand them better.
You can dive in and learn from autistic adults.
You can figure out what comorbid disorders your child may have.
You can research things like meltdowns, burnout, and the autism therapy red flags to watch for.
Basically, an autism diagnosis explains a lot about why your child is the way that they are.
You start to understand why they’re flapping or why they struggle with loud noises.
And the more you understand, the easier it will be to reach the next step…
#2 Early Diagnosis Leads to Early Acceptance
The earlier you get your child’s autism diagnosis, the earlier you can accept that your child is autistic.
See, the diagnosis can be shocking, but the fact is that no one knows your autistic child’s future.
You can spend some time learning the awesome things about autism.
You can even check out these autism affirmations to remember when you’re in the middle of chaos and struggling to embrace autism.
And let me tell you, when you truly accept your autistic child as they are, everything is going to change.
You won’t worry about the snotty looks you get from strangers at the grocery store. You won’t stress about your child being “behind” or having “limited interests”.
And when you accept your autistic child, you’re teaching them to fully accept themselves. And that’s a beautiful thing!
#3 Early Diagnosis Leads to Early Advocacy
Now, here’s the real game-changer.
The earlier you get your child’s autism diagnosis, the earlier you can learn to advocate for them.
The ultimate goal is to teach your autistic child how to self-advocate, and you do that by being their biggest and best advocate.
Whether you’re advocating with teachers at school, with your judgy in-laws at a holiday party, or with the little league coach, the earlier you get your child’s diagnosis the earlier you’ll find your confident advocating voice.
Not sure how to best advocate? Make sure you’re in a community where autistic members can give you support and guidance.
I recommend our free Facebook community, Embracing Autism. There you can ask for input and hear from autistics and parents of autistic children.
And if you’re looking for more guided support, you would love Autism Journey Collective, the membership that gives you access to coaching from myself and my team of autistic adult mentors!
The doors are closed to new members right now… But make sure you’re signed up here and you’ll be the first to know when doors open again!
If you loved this post, you should also check out:
5 Important Steps to Take After Your Child’s Autism Diagnosis
5 Steps to Take While Waiting for an Official Autism Diagnosis