There is still so much stigma around being an autism parent, particularly in the early stages when you’re either on the road to diagnosis and just diagnosed. The two feelings I encounter most often from parents are: relief to get a diagnosis and concern about what happens next.
There are many ways a diagnosis can impact you and your family: at the beginning you will all be learning how best to manage and re-assess your life as you move forward. But with any change in life, we tend to look outwards for help, ideas, suggestions, from family members, experts, other parents, but I like to remind parents that a lot of answers and power lie within. Within yourself, your child or young person, within your family and within your community.
Using mediation and reflection is a powerful way to bring calm in what can be a turbulent life. Many parents I engage, operate within a whirlwind of appointments, meetings with professionals, teachers, work, other dependants and so on. This is a gentle reminder to meet with yourself from time to time, and turn off the noise of other people in order to listen to how you feel. You’re grappling with big decisions: home, schooling, siblings, EHCPs’ medication, a tribunal, personal finances and your head feels like it’s about to boil over. Before you reach that point, try remember to breathe and find steadiness and empowerment in your own thoughts and ability to make decisions. If possible, encourage your child or young person to do the same. Putting some air around a situation can help you find clarity and if you’re lucky, a little bit of calm.
© Suzy Rowland