A parent will always be their child’s biggest advocate. However, when your child is diagnosed with autism or a related disorder, your advocacy becomes all the more important.

Why is Autism Advocacy Important?

There are many reasons why autism advocacy is important. It can help to break down harmful stereotypes, challenge misinformation, and perhaps most crucially, build a more welcoming and inclusive world for neurodiverse individuals.

Furthermore, it can also help to raise awareness about autism and related disorders, which can increase acceptance and increase the amount of funding autism charities and research receive.

How To Advocate For Your Child With Autism


Start at home.

Advocating for your child often begins at home. Start by doing your research into autism, ensuring that all information is gathered from reputable sources. The more you understand the condition, the easier it will be to support your child throughout every stage of their life.

If you have neurotypical children at home, take the time to explain autism to them, too. They may have already noticed that their sibling acts slightly differently to them, but without having a concrete reason why, they may not know how to respond.


Speak to their teacher.

According to a recent study, few children have received an autism diagnosis before starting school. In fact,28% of students do not receive a formal autism diagnosis until they are teenagers.

As a result, you must keep your child’s teacher up to date, whether you’re considering looking into autism testing or have received a formal diagnosis. This can ensure that they put the proper provisions in place to support your child in the classroom, whether this means designing a sensory-friendly classroom or sticking to a clear routine each day.


Challenge negative assumptions.

Many people view an autism diagnosis as something inherently negative when it just means that your child sees the world in a slightly different way. As such, you should work to encounter this negative whenever you come across it. While speaking out can be hard, it shows your child that they should be proud of who they are and helps to break down some of the more persistent stereotypes relating to ASD.

You should also encourage your child to find their voice and speak up for themselves.


Remain involved in their therapy.

Therapy can play a key role in the life of a child with autism or a related disorder, helping them to develop the skills they need to thrive in any environment. Remaining actively engaged in their therapy, such as by attending sessions together or going over what they’ve learned each week, is another great way to support and advocate for your child. After all, it means that you are taking active strides toward making their day-to-day life a little easier.

If you’d like to find out more about autism therapies, including speech therapy and ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) therapy, please do not hesitate to get in touch today.

Symptoms Of ASD

Autism, or Autism Spectrum Disorder, manifests itself differently in every person who has received a diagnosis. This is, in part, what can make diagnosis difficult – as the symptoms can be far-ranging and often overlap with other neurological conditions, such as Aspergers or even OCD.

 

As a result, it is essential that parents seek not to armchair diagnose their children – but instead pay attention to some of the signs and symptoms of autism in different age groups so that they can ensure their child gets the support they need.

 

However, some symptoms of autism are less frequent than others. For example, around 40% of children receiving autism therapies have a language delay – making it one of the more common indicators for parents to keep an eye out for. Others may be harder to spot – or you may not even recognize them as a symptom whatsoever.

 

With that in mind, here are three lesser-known symptoms of autism. (Note: this blog should not be considered a method of diagnosis – and you should reach out to a healthcare professional should you require more support).

 

Seizures.

 

For a long time, the link between autism and an increased likelihood of dealing with a seizure was unknown – despite the fact that 1 in 4 children with autism also had a seizure disorder. More recently, however, researchers have identified specific gene mutations that occur in both autism and epilepsy.

 

If your child has a seizure, try to move them to a safe environment, such as the floor/ground, where they cannot hurt themselves. Remove any hazards from the surrounding area and seek medical help. During this time, you should try to time the seizures. As medical scenarios such as doctor visits can be more daunting for children with autism, you should also make sure healthcare professionals know their condition ahead of time.

 

Hypo-reactivity.

 

Sensory processing issues are common in children and adults with autism and related disorders. However, common assumption means that we expect this to manifest itself in a strong (and noticeable) dislike of certain sensory factors, like textures and smells. This kind of response could be labelled as hyperreactivity, where responses appear a little over the top. However, the opposite can often be the case for children with autism, meaning they under-respond to certain stimuli. This is known as hypo-reactivity. For example, your child may constantly talk over others as they are unaware of how loud they are speaking.

 

Lack of Hazard Perception.

 

As a parent, we’ll always want to make sure our children are safe – which is why it can be particularly daunting when we notice them participating in behaviors that could be reckless or dangerous. However, while many children will learn to fear danger naturally – children with autism or related disorders may not develop this knowledge or insight at the same rate as their peers.

 

There are various reasons for this. For example, we are wary of hazards because we can imagine what goes wrong if we do not bear them in mind. Children with autism and related disorders may not think of what could happen – as they are focused on non-negotiables and black and white facts. They may also find it harder to understand situations that they have not experienced directly.

 

If you believe that your child has autism or a related disorder, please do not hesitate to get in touch today. We have decades of experience supporting children with ASD through extensive clinical services and one-on-one support, enabling them to reach their full potential.

Any questions? Give us a call!

401-228-8303

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