Tips for Families

Ahmad and I learned so much on our journey. Here are some tips that can help your family.

  • Early screening and diagnosis is key. The earlier you can start interventions, the better the long term outcome typically is.
  • Always, always trust your gut instinct. If you think something might be wrong with your child, it probably is.
  • Here’s a clue: If you are waiting for your child to “grow out of something”—a developmentally inappropriate behavior or a “phase” that makes you uncomfortable, have your child screened. Don’t stay in a place of denial.
  • Learn as much as you can.
  • Realize that there is no stigma attached to autism. In fact, the autism community is wonderfully supportive.
  • Don’t rely on the school system—in many African-American and Latino communities, they may have substandard resources. Get a recommendation for a pediatrician who specializes in developmental issues.
  • Don’t try to do it by yourself—there is lots of information and resources out there. We have many on this website, and we can direct you to more if you need them.
  • Know that it is not your fault.
  • Learn to understand your child the best you can—how they think, what is going on in their world. Learn to speak their lingo, which might involve using fewer words or words you know they understand.
  • If you receive an autism diagnosis, get the 100 Days Kit from Autism Speaks. “This is something I wish I had when Gabriel was first diagnosed,” says Debra. “It is a wonderful resource.”
  • Never give up!