Tips for Discussing ASD with Extended Family Members and Friends

If you have a child who has recently been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder—or ASD—you may be concerned about how to best explain the diagnosis to the people in your life.

Even people who have heard of ASD won’t necessarily understand what it is or what a diagnosis of the disorder means for your child. Here are some tips that will help you explain:

Talk about the behaviors associated with ASD.

A good way to begin is to talk about some of the specific behaviors that many children who have ASD tend to have in common. For example, many individuals with ASD have difficulty making eye contact, tend to focus on their favorite interests to the exclusion of other subjects, and become upset if there are any changes to their usual routine. Explain that every case of ASD is unique, and that no two individuals with autism are exactly the same.

Discuss how a diagnosis benefits your child.

It’s common for people to worry that “labeling” a child with a diagnosis will negatively affect him or her. When you’re discussing your child’s diagnosis with others, it can be helpful to focus on the beneficial aspects of knowing what your child’s condition is. After all, having an accurate diagnosis means that you can seek out resources to help your child through early development and schooling.

Explain the consensus about the causes of ASD.

There are numerous myths and misconceptions surrounding the nature of ASD and what causes it, so it may be a good idea to address these issues directly. For example, you can explain that ASD is a lifelong condition that is thought to begin before birth, that it is not caused by parenting style, and is not caused by vaccines.

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Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as professional advice. The content is based on the author's personal experiences, research, and opinions. It is always recommended to consult with a qualified professional or expert before making any decisions or taking action based on the information provided in this blog.

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