Autism Spectrum Disorder – Newly Diagnosed

The diagnosis of Autism is life changing but there is information and support  that can make a positive difference in the lives of the individual with Autism and the entire family.

Autism is a neurological disorder  that affects the individual’s ability to communicate, understand language and relate to others.  Autism is called a “spectrum disorder” because people may have some or all of the following characteristics , varying from mild to severe:

  • Communication problems (for example, with the use or comprehension of language);
  • Difficulty relating to people, things, and events;
  • Playing with toys and objects in unusual ways;
  • Difficulty adjusting to changes in routine or to familiar surroundings; and
  • Repetitive body movements or behaviors.

While parents and family want to know what Autism is and how their child came to be diagnosed, it is important not to lose site of the fact that your child is a child first, above and outside of the word “autism”.  “Autism” or “Autism Spectrum Disorder (NICHCY)” attempts to describe the ways that the child perceives and relates to the human and natural environment.  Your child still has a personality and traits you may recognize in yourself or other family members, your child still has abilities and potential.  Try to get to know the child without focusing only on the label, remembering all children need the same things:  love, attention, interactive nurturing and play!

Can Autism be cured?

As of now there is no known cure but parent’s experience and research is showing that early intervention and a variety of treatments and therapies  can lead to better outcomes in life for people on the autism spectrum.

What about the autism insurance coverage in Michigan?

The Michigan Autism Program went into effect on April 1, 2013. This Autism Benefit provides children ages 18 months through 5 years old who have a medical diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) with Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services.  Specifics can be found on the Michigan Autism Program Website.

Where can I find support?

With the high numbers of children diagnosed with autism, the good news is there is support around the state of Michigan,  in person and online.