AUTISM CHECKLIST FOR INFANTS AND PRESCHOOLERS: (BIRTH TO AGE 5)

Asperger’s Syndrome is a condition that my child suffers from. What Can I Do to Help?

There is a lot to learn when your child is diagnosed with an autistic spectrum disorder. With new terminology like “positive behavior support,” you’re confronted with a new vocabulary. Having a sense of helplessness is quite normal.

The good news is you’re not the only one who has had these feelings. Many parents have walked this path previously and can attest to the difficulty of the situation. Information and support services are available to you.

Using our seven-step guide, you’ll be able to determine the best course of action. You can find out the next steps for your child’s development.

Step 1: Discover What Your Child’s Requirements Are

A language delay or difficulty interacting with others can be a problem for children with autism. People with learning disabilities may display odd, repeated actions. Because no two autistic children are the same, it’s up to you, as the parent, to know your child best.

If you’re speaking with a doctor or therapist, inquire about everything. Inform them of your worries. Consider seeking a second opinion if you’re not satisfied with the answers.

It’s not uncommon for children with autism to have other disorders such as epilepsy, gastrointestinal issues, and insomnia. If you’re worried about your long-term health, make an appointment with your doctor. In some cases, you’ll have to take your child to the doctor to be tested.

Treatment options may include counseling and educational programs if you are confident that your child has been diagnosed with autism.

Step 2: Find Out More About Education Programs and Resources.

Early Intervention from Birth to Age 3

Individuals with special requirements It is allowed to provide additional support for children under the age of three so that they can meet important developmental milestones, such as talking. An individualized family service plan facilitates the provision of these services, which are sometimes referred to as “early intervention” (IFSP).

Early intervention involves working with therapists in various settings, including the child’s own home, a daycare center, or some other location. In this course, parents and caregivers learn to support their children’s language and communication development. Included among the talents that should be improved are:

  • looking someone in the eye
  • Interacting verbally and nonverbally with others in an ongoing conversation about a shared object or event (called joint or shared attention)

State-specific early intervention programs are available in each jurisdiction. Referrals can be obtained through your child’s doctor, and the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center directory lists resources by state.

Individualized Education Programs and 504 Plans are required for children ages three and above.

For children with autism who are 3 years old or older, their local school system may offer an individualized education program (IEP). Speech therapy, occupational therapy (OT), or a classroom aide may be recommended as part of this strategy to support the child in making better behavioral choices. If you’d like to learn more, contact the special education department of your school district.

There is a 504 education plan that can enable children who do not qualify for an IEP to receive educational support in a regular classroom.

Step 3: Determine Your Health Insurance Options

Autism therapy can help children thrive, but not all of it is covered by health insurance. Your state determines the extent of your insurance coverage, which can be difficult to ascertain.

Here are some ways to learn about what is covered:

  • By calling your insurance company, you can find out what services are covered by your policy.
  • By calling your insurance company, you can find out what services are covered by your policy.
  • Use the internet to find health insurance planning aids. To find out what your state or health insurance plan covers, some national autism groups offer useful questionnaires and other tools.

Without health insurance, your child may be eligible for CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) or Medicaid, depending on your state’s program offerings. Your health insurance might not cover everything, in which case Medicaid might help fill in the gaps. You and your family’s financial situation are not considered while determining eligibility for benefits.

Step 4: Arrange for Childcare, if Necessary

Daycare providers are prohibited from discriminating against children with disabilities under the legislation. Be sure that the childcare provider you choose has the expertise and the environment necessary to accommodate your child safely. State agencies can often recommend child care providers that deal with early intervention.

Step 5: Become a Member of a Playdate or Social Group.

Seek out opportunities for your child to interact with other children and put the skills they have learned in therapy to use. A “Mommy and Me” class or play dates in the neighborhood are good options for parents with young children. Your youngster may benefit from participating in these meet-ups.

It’s always a good idea to get your kid involved in a social skills training program. These are designed for children who need extra support interacting with others. Making eye contact, taking turns, and sharing are just a few of the life lessons kids pick up along the way. Therapy or social worker-led sessions may be supported by insurance or part of a student’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP).

Also, don’t neglect your own and your children’s social needs. There are support groups for parents and siblings of children with autism in many parts of the country. You can discover new coping mechanisms by spending time with people who are going through similar difficulties to yourself.

Step 6: Seek assistance as needed.

Being a parent of a young autistic child can be a difficult and draining experience. Take breaks and ask for help when you need it. However, this will provide you with more time and energy to spend with your loved ones.

So, whether it’s laundry or dinner preparation, enlist the assistance of a family member. Set up alternate childcare arrangements with your partner to enjoy some much-needed “me time.” Consider respite care or finding a sitter who is comfortable with your child so that you may go a night out on the town.

Taking a break to refuel can be beneficial. When you return to your child, you’ll be energized and ready for the joys and responsibilities of motherhood.

Step 7: Ensure Your Child’s Future Success

Make plans for your child’s future now, even if you don’t have a will or other legal or financial framework in place. The best method to manage your assets is to consult with a special needs attorney and a financial advisor who specialize in these matters.

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