As a parent of a special needs child it is very important to seek advice and guidance and to find a support system that will help you through the many questions you will have and set you on the right path in helping your child. It all comes down to doing what is right for your child. We all experience feelings of frustration and heartbreak but we have to be strong for our children and especially our children with special needs. Once a diagnosis of autism or asperger’s is determined for your child it is critical that you set the wheels in motion and start the journey of a lifetime to help support and encourage your child and get them the proper support and medical attention they need now and throughout their lives.
An autistic child generally lacks the social skills necessary in communicating with others. They have difficulty with making eye contact and they are very slow in their speech development. The first step in helping your child is getting them the therapies they will need through early intervention. These therapies will be implemented through the early intervention program and throughout the child’s school years.
As a parent we also need support and encouragement. It can be emotionally very draining in caring for an autistic child and working on establishing a relationship and helping them learn and develop as other children do. I know how important it is to speak to your child and listen to them and work towards being on their level and understanding them. I need to always work on establishing my son’s trust and always being reassuring to him. I also have to be careful with what we watch on tv or our tone of voice. I have learned early on how sensitive an autistic child can be. Our son has many sensitivities primarily relating to sound, lighting, texture, aroma and touch.
I am a relatively shy person and find it difficult reaching out to others but with regard to my son I have made it a point to do what is necessary to help him. With the support and encouragement of my wife we have attended parent support group meetings and social outings to determine suitable programs for our son that will help him develop and learn social skills. We have sought sporting programs and summer programs that will keep him active and busy and provide him the opportunity of making friends.
I am truly grateful for all the people who have helped and continue to help our son and us and feel that we are seeing progress with our son. I always wish to see the positive side of things and have come to realize that we should not feel alone. We do have others who are willing to help and provide advice and share their experiences and all we have to do is reach out and ask for it. We should always know that by finding someone who is experiencing what we are makes it possible to form a bond and find some peace of mind and make a connection that will certainly help and provide us moral support and camaraderie. That is part of the process necessary in helping our children. We are here to provide the very best for our child and be the best we can and sometimes a little help from others can mean so much.
Edward D. Iannielli III