It’s a very scary and stressful time when your child has just been diagnosed with Autism, or Autism Spectrum Disorder, ASD. He’s 2 or 3 years old and you had a feeling that something wasn’t quite right for some time. You finally get an appointment with a developmental pediatrician and he confirms what you suspected. Now what to do? Different doctors leave you walking out the door with different types and amounts of information. Some don’t give you much at all and some give you a long list of referrals from speech to occupational therapy to ABA companies. Each doctor has their own personal opinion about what areas to focus on and how much time to spend in each therapy.
Each child is a very unique little person and a one-size-fits-all approach is not going to work for most kids. Gather as much information as you can from as many professionals as you can then take all of that information and put it right next to your gut instincts to make decisions. Nobody has a crystal ball and in the end you just make the best decisions you can at any given moment for your child.
No matter what you decide, getting 10 hours of ABA or 20, 1 hour a week of speech or 2, most important is that everybody works as a team and communicate openly about your child’s needs, his strengths and weaknesses. His skills and needs will change ... his therapy schedule and his placement in school will change. Try to find a balance that works best for him and your entire family. Don’t forget to have downtime included in your schedule where you can just relax and have fun together too!
Shannon Kong, MS, CCC
CEO, Clinical Director
Seven Bridges Therapy