Navigating The Journey
Navigating The Journey
Following the recommendations and using the knowledge in this book will help you to navigate your journey successfully. Your child will make progress and you will value and enjoy every new milestone. You will experience unconditional love and patience. You will have great joy in your life. You will love your child for his or her unique personality and perspective on life. Your child is different, but not “less.” Embracing your child’s differences will open your heart and mind to new possibilities and pathways. If your child has not been diagnosed officially yet, you must have your child evaluated as soon as possible. Early diagnosis and treatment will help to significantly improve your child’s prognosis and future. You must understand the negative effects of your child’s autism on your whole family and how to avoid them as much as possible. Surround yourself with people who “get you” and your family. You need support. Fight the urge to isolate yourself and your family. Create and maintain a healthy marriage. Explore all treatment avenues, such as medications, therapies, and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatments as appropriate. Do not be afraid to consider medications. Find a provider you trust who is an expert with ASD. For your child to be successful, you need to become very familiar with the educational system and be an advocate for your child at school. You also need to be adept with legal issues of guardianship and other long-term planning issues such as the special needs trust. Lastly, you need to find acceptance and may need to explore issues of spirituality and religion. Since my daughter’s diagnosis 10 years ago, I have found great joy in raising her. I appreciate and love her for who she is every day. My family would not be complete without her. Not a day goes by that she does not make me laugh. She has given my life great purpose and fulfillment, and I have no doubt that you feel the same about your child. I am amazed at the progress she has made.
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