Breaking big news like an autism diagnosis to your loved ones can be a challenge for even the most accepting of families. Despite the potential for a range of reactions and a conversation that may be difficult to approach, sharing this information can open the doors to a new understanding, mutual support, and a healthier home dynamic. After all, everyone in the family will be affected by the diagnosis, so the greater the awareness and acceptance, the better you and your family can collaborate and maintain a home environment that supports everyone involved.
1. Prepare For The Conversation With Relevant Research
Since talking to your family about a new autism diagnosis will likely lead to many questions, prepare for the discussion by researching your child’s specific autism diagnosis. You can search for topics like the causes of autism, the differences between various ASD diagnoses, and how autism can affect aspects of life like communication, social development, behavior, and motor coordination.
While searching for resources about your child’s diagnosis, check out our regularly-updated articles and autism services in Pennsylvania for a wealth of pertinent information. We constantly post new autism resources, can teach you more about ABA therapy, and can help you find the help you need.
2. Approach The Subject In A Calm & Positive Way
Since an autism diagnosis may be potentially upsetting or surprising to certain members of the family, presenting this information in a relaxed and reassuring way can diffuse any potential tension. Your family members may not understand what autism is, they may be angry or sad, or they may be empathetic and ready to help! However they receive the news, your pre-discussion research and positive demeanor are vital for guiding the discussion toward the facts of the situation and how to best support your child’s ongoing needs as a family team.
3. Explain Your Child’s Diagnosis In Plain English
Instead of reading off medical terms related to your child’s new diagnosis, explaining the diagnosis in simple terms can help your family wrap their heads around the situation. For example, instead of saying, “John has difficulty interpreting the meaning of certain facial expressions and social cues”, you can simplify the idea by saying, “It may be hard for John to tell if someone is sad or angry because of his new diagnosis. But, we are going to help him learn how to recognize these differences with practice at home!”
4. A Diagnosis Leads To Good Things
If any family members feel concerned, be sure to remind them that an autism diagnosis is not bad news! Many individuals with autism go on to lead vibrant, fulfilling, and independent lifestyles. Early diagnosis and ABA therapy services in Paramus, NJ at an early age are proven to improve long-term outcomes.
By sharing factual information, explaining the diagnosis in simple terms, and reassuring your family that a diagnosis is a step in a positive direction, your family is more likely to be supportive!