7 Tips – Coping mechanisms for parents of children who have just been diagnosed with autism

1. Make sure that you are alone. Scream as loudly as your lungs permit, for as long as you are able. Cry until you are incoherent. Ensure that you have an adequate supply of tissues. [translation = several catering sized boxes of Kleenex]

2. Take a damp cloth and wipe your face until your breathing returns to approximately normal. [translation = your regular breathing rate]

3. Visit or phone a true pal [translation = friend] and/ or relative [translation = family member] and talk. Advise them that you are likely to blub [translation = weep] and that they do not need to respond merely listen.

4. Start reading the paperwork that the professional who diagnosed your child gave you. N.B. If the pile of paper is too heavy to carry skip to the 'recommendations' page. N.B,B. make sure that you have a medical dictionary with a large font size at your elbow for reference.

5. If you find that your brain has shriveled to the size of a pea and that you are incapable of taking in technical information, push the paper work to one side and go and do your favourite thing instead. If you discover that your favourite thing is not working, do not worry, normal service will be resumed in the future.

6. I tell you truly that things will improve and that you CAN do this.

7. Seek out aforementioned child/[ren], the same child/[ren] who now owns a new label. Hug and kiss that same child/[ren] with or without labels.

If you like what you read, send it to someone in ‘need.’

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