Parents of ASD children, can you share the thoughts and emotions you have experienced since your children's diagnoses

Note: My son is highly functioning. And these are my opinions and my advice for what has worked for us. Every child is different. And what worked for us might not work for you. So please don't criticize or harp on what we did wrong or right. I have taken my time to try to help others. Sorry for all that but I have my reasons.

It was very tough at first. What kept me up at night was thinking what was to become of him when we are gone? Who will be there for him? My son is now 14 and I see that he will be fine. All those years of therapy paid off. My son use to show many autistic symptoms (flapping, head banging, covering ears to moderate noise, echoing, etc). Now he doesn't do any of it. He is high functioning. If you didn't hear him speak (he mumbles his speach) you would think he's your typical teenager.

But one thing I must stress if you can. Try to control your child. What I mean by that was that I didn't know how to handle when he had tantrums. And they were bad. He was remarkably strong for a child so young. Was it the autism? Was it a toddler misbehaving and acting badly?

Please forgive me but this is going to sound horrible. But I say this with love and not wishing any harm to anyone.

I remember so clearly that I saw on tv how an older autistic man was shot and killed by police. This poor man was killed simply because he could not control himself and the police didn't know how to react properly. Then I said to myself no way in hell. If I can not control my son as a toddler. How am I going to be able to control him when he gets older and much stronger? And if I can't control him then how can anyone else. I swear I use to play "hands up" and "hands down" when I use to bath him.

What worked for us was using a reward system. My son loves video games and toys. What I would do each week at first promise him a small surprise. But only if he was a good boy. If he acted up, I would say "no suprise". And he would say "waiiiittt!". I would tell him only good boys who listen gets surprises. It worked like a charm to this very day. God forbid if I don't get him that suprise after mentioning it. My wife would joke and lovingly remark that he is like a pitbull. He will not let go. As he got older the frequency in giving surprises has gone down.

Another thing is when ever you can correct his behavior symptoms. For example my son use to flap. As soon as we caught him doing it, we would quickly tell him to stop and put his arms down. Sure enough two minutes later he would be at it again. And we would harp on him to put his arms down. The same with covering his ears with loud noises. I know they are sensitive. But personally I think all that gets in the way. Without all those hangups he has been doing so much better.

He is now a competitive swimmer. He gets great grades (modified ciriculum). He is a great kid.

Did it devastate me when I found out my son had autism? You bet! But I said you know what if he has autism. Then he's going to be the best he can be with autism. No matter what. Just get in there and deal with. If he had autism yesterday then he will have it today and the days to come. That will not change. So you could mope around feeling sorry and "why me??". But time is ticking and it waits for no one. That time is best used to help your child to try to live a satisfying life. You get lemons then you make worlds best lemonade. All our children are blessings. They will probably teach you more than you will ever know. So quit the crying and be your child's advocate (and #1 fan). Don't worry if you set a good foundation things will get better and easier. But remember every child is different. And no one knows your child better than you do. Reduce their weaknesses and build up their strengths. Now get it done. Best of luck.

/r/autism Thread