I have moved over to WhittereronAutism.com. Please follow the link to find me there. Hope to see you after the jump! :)

Monday, November 20, 2006

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.


chrisd said...


You forgot #8-have internet supply you with many internet hugs.

love to you and your family--Chrisd

chrisd said...

um, that was supposed to read internet friends...


There's another one for good measure!

Jerry Grasso said...

Truly a great post - with great photos to go with it.

For me, we got the diagnosis, and I literally had to go to the airport and catch a flight from Atlanta to New York City. I cried on a plane, listening to iTunes. I cried in the cab to the hotel. I cried in the hotel (by the way, this doesn't matter if you are male or female). I walked to dinner with a friend of mine who also happened to be in NYC and he let me lean on his shoulder all night. I cried at the restaurant. I cried in bed.

I then met with the New York Times and an executive for breakfast the next morning with my professional game face.

When it was all over from a day of meeting with the media.

I cried on the flight back from NYC to Atlanta.

On the drive home.

I slept that night in bed with Demetrius, and I think he still has marks from my squeezing him so hard (and he loved every minute of it with his sensory integration issues).

Great posting! Loved it!

mommyguilt said...

INCREDIBLE! I think everyone should read this. It is the truth. And yes, definitely, seek out the enormous amount of support here on the net. Newly diagnosed's don't always know that they're not alone, not at all alone!

Anonymous said...

Very fun post, blog, and self-description...came tracking you from The Mouse Blog and was intrigued to visit your site after reading "Child Expander" as your occupation...

You should consider launching the AACE-American Association of :-)

AshleyLeo said...

OMG this is the perfect list. I think I did exactly those things, followed by a giant nap.

Lora said...

Bravo! What a perfect list, wish I had it when Griffin was first diagnosed. Keep up the great work!

Dianne and Eric said...

Hi thanks for reading my blog its been a long day ,... ok long 2 months, Id be happy to chat i couldnt find an email for you but you can reach me at dianne69@yahoo.com I also have yahoo messanger and can be reached there on the same ID dianne69
thanks and hugs!

Denise said...

I would only add that after completing your list, you get on the phone to every mother of another child with autism you can find and start talking.

AK said...

I can voucher to say that this also applies for when you get diagnoised with it as well... it's like you do the parent thing and the kid thing all at once.

great list of advice :)

Anonymous said...

Great post!

kristina said...

List also applies for when you have one of those days beyond terrible------email, email, email, and music. And (for me) a nice hot cup of coffee and a deep breath.

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