Have you ever received a medical diagnosis that shook you to the core? Well then you know that often you must go through several stages before you come to some peace of mind or at least some resolution. This is often what goes on with a family who has just received a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder [ASD]. Although each family member may react differently, many will initially feel disbelief, sadness, a feeling of loss and worry. Although the diagnosis can often bring a sense of relief because now there is a reason for your child’s difficulties, it is usually also overwhelming.
Time is essential in allowing all to fully grasp the diagnosis and what it means for the child and family. Stress can be added as more and more medical appointments, lengthy assessments, and tests are carried out. All of this is emotionally draining and overwhelming. You may fear the unknown and have great uncertainty about the future. Each person will cope differently; beliefs, experiences, and understanding about ASD will influence how each person reacts.
Early intervention is usually stressed by health care professionals, and, while excellent advice, it can cause pressure for the family to find the needed treatments quickly.
Feeling inundated just reading this? Well, help is on the way! Mind Matters has a free service for all families who have just received an ASD diagnosis. Our Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Sarah Krutsinger, provides a Family Needs Assessment [FNA]. Sarah listens, counsels, and provides local and other resources to help. Often Sarah can help with counseling sessions and/or she can make a referral to one of our other professionals to provide service and treatment. Mind Matters, as a comprehensive treatment center, can often help the child and family further when diagnosed with ASD, ADHD, or other learning disability.
If you or someone you know is dealing with an overwhelming diagnosis, please call Mind Matters at 209-728-2184 to find out more and make an appointment. Visit our website www.mindmattersclinic.org.
If you are interested in donating to Mind Matters to help keep the FNA free for whoever needs it, please consider donating on-line, by mail, or in person. Mind Matters is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.