Waiting for a diagnosis can feel a little like being in limbo land; you’re not sure whether to act or whether to stick your head in the sand like a very large Ostrich and pretend that this brave new world you have found yourself simply isn’t happening.
But the truth is you don’t need to wait for a diagnosis to take action. In fact, you may just find that by taking that action, the whole process becomes significantly less scary.
So what can you do?
Start Keeping Records
The diagnosis process can be a long one, but if you are able to support what you are saying with specific examples and give the frequency of the behaviours that you are seeing as well as the strategies you have tried, it will be smoother(and in some cases quicker). Get yourself a diary specifically for the purpose and joy down a few notes at the end of each day.
Apply For An EHCP
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to wait for a diagnosis for your child to access additional help at school. The system is based on need not diagnosis. So if your child is struggling, book an appointment to see the school SENCO and start the ball rolling. It’s worth knowing that it doesn’t have to be school who submits the application, it can be you, your health visitor, a CAMHs worker or anyone else involved in your child’s care.
Find A Tribe
Both online and in person support groups often have a high proportion of parents going through the diagnosis process. You will definitely be made welcome at this point on your journey so don’t feel that you can’t access the help and support on offer their until you know for sure. After all we all feel saner if we have someone to talk to who truly ‘gets it’.
Arm Yourself With Information
Read everything you can get your hands on, and listen carefully to the wisdom of others. It’s easy to think that after diagnosis someone will come on board and give you the information you need to help your child but the reality is that all to often that just isn’t the case. Finding strategies that work doesn’t need diagnosis. I often tell teachers that ‘Good Autism teaching is good everyone teaching’ and the same is true of parenting. Autism strategies often help other young people who are stuggling with their emotions, or who struggle to communicate effectively, so it’s definitely worth checking them out early.
Implement Those Strategies
Reading and discovery is great, but it’s the implementation of what you have discovered that will really make a difference. Start trialling strategies and thinking differently – if you’re looking for practical and easy to try ideas the Autism section of the site will help you. Talk to your child’s teachers and encourage them to do the same. Together you can make a world of difference, we’ll before the diagnosis process is complete.
Why not join our lovely, friendly Facebook Group full of parents determined to make sure their children are #UNIQUEANDSUCCESSFUL.
If you do want to learn more you might find our autism section a useful place to start. It’s full of different strategies to try out.
Or if you’re looking for more personal support to help you take that action, why not check out our Consultancy Services.