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Saturday, July 14, 2012

Autism and Stress

Hi, Everyone,
When my first disabled son was born, I knew he would not meet the milestones that are so often discussed with a pediatrician. I was fortunate to be directed to numerous doctors who guided me through the process.  In addition, I was immediately given the name of a Service Coordinator, who turned out to be my guardian angel. The service coordinator guides you through the legal system and helps you get the services you need.  They setup evaluations conduct meetings with the Health Department representatives.  It is confusing at first especially when you are overwhelmed by the fact that you have just been told your child has a disability.  The service coordinator also informs you of your rights as a parent, such as requesting additional evaluations.  You are provided with a handbook detailing your rights and what you can expect from the Health Department legal system.

When my autistic son was born, he was perfect in every way.  He was meeting milestones as should be.  Then, it seemed overnight he been more withdrawn, had no eye contact, flapped his arms and walked in circles.  He also had no sense of how to avoid objects as he walked or understood that he must step down when he walked on stairs. He also began walking in circles.  I was fortunate that I had a Service Coordinator whom I already knew to ask for help. Many parents are not so lucky and do not know where to begin.  How do I get help for my child who do I ask?  A pediatrician may direct you to a service coordinator provided by the state.  Service coordinators usually work for an agency as do all of the therapists.  There are many agencies who provide these services. You will be provided with a Transition service coordinator who will enter the government funded program - Early Intervention.  The program runs from when the child is born to 3 years old. Next, another service coordinator will be assigned to you to follow your child's progress.

Below I have provided a link to a site that discusses the process and how to manage your stress during this difficult time.

http://www.metroparent.com/Metro-Parent/February-2012/Milestones-and-Your-Child-Whats-Normal/ Click Here!

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