Today, hearing that a child has Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is not as uncommon as in previous generations. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), approximately 1 in 59 children has been identified with (ASD) according to estimates from its Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network. Studies have also found that his condition is found in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups and that one in six children with ASD in the United States could have some type of co-occurring developmental disability. Given the prevalence of ASD, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the amount of information. It can also be hard to know where to get the best care, treatment, and services for your child. Here are some ideas for finding the best resources for your child with Autism.
Signs and Symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder
According to the Centers for Disease Control, a child with ASD may have certain pronounced signs and symptoms such as:
- Avoiding eye contact
- Not responding to their name by 12 months
- Not engaging in pretend play
- Having obsessive tendencies and difficulty understanding other people’s feelings or discussing their own
- Avoiding or resisting physical contact with others
- Patterned physical behaviors such as flapping their hands
- Lack of personal space boundaries
- Flat affect or expression
- Getting fixated on order and detail
- Getting overly upset over minor changes and being inconsolable
These and several other unusual behaviors may be an indication of ASD or another condition. If you have seen these or other concerning signs that your child needs assistance, it’s crucial that you get him or her in to see an appropriate professional as soon as possible.
Start with Treating Professionals
A good place to begin is your child’s treating professionals. His or her psychiatrist or pediatrician may have resource lists which include websites and names of local organizations that they believe to be reputable. This may only be a starting point, but it’s a way to get oriented to some of the programs and their offerings.
As a parent, you are probably going to do a lot of research on your own. The internet can be a fantastic resource for free information, but it can also provide conflicting and inflammatory data. When children are diagnosed with ASD, some parents can end up going down a website rabbit hole of fearful and incorrect information based on conjecture. It’s important to review what you see online with scrutiny and to cross-reference the information with trustworthy sources. For instance, websites for organizations such as Autism Speaks, which is a nationally-recognized non-profit, is more likely to direct you to reliable information.
Your child’s school is also likely to be an excellent place to find information about ASD and ways to support them in this environment. Teachers with special needs training are often well-acquainted with community resources as well as California and federal programs that may serve your child’s needs. It can be helpful to schedule a meeting with your child’s teacher to learn more about available supports in your community.
Special Needs Planning
As you learn more about your child’s condition, income-limited public benefits, and the resources in your area, you are likely to find that without long-term planning, your child may only be living on the bare minimum. However, by taking steps today, you can prepare for your child’s future by setting up provisions such as a California Special Needs Trust, that will improve his or her quality of life, without endangering his or her public benefit qualification. By meeting with a California special needs planning attorney today, you can start preparing for your child’s future.
At the Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo, we have the experience you need to plan for your child’s present and future care, and can help direct you to the right resources. Please contact us online or by phone to set up a free consultation today so you can start your solution. https://www.salvolaw.com/