Raising a child can be a rewarding, albeit challenging experience for primary caregivers. A diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or another developmental delay can be difficult for many families to accept and navigate. Once you receive the diagnosis, what next? To move through the next steps following a diagnosis, it is important for the child and their family to have a strong supportive team of professionals in the field. This support is key for not only the child, but also the parents and primary caregivers.
If your child is experiencing delays in key developmental skills, they may already be receiving support from a therapeutic preschool program or additional therapy from a speech-language pathologist, occupational therapist, ABA therapist, or feeding therapist. A therapeutic preschool program may also offer a wide range of services throughout the day, to address multiple areas of concern. By having a multidisciplinary team involved with your child, you will have many professionals to consult for your questions (you will likely have many). The professionals on your team can also develop individualized treatment plans to meet the unique needs of your child. Every child is a unique learner, making it necessary for regular communication between caregivers and the team of professionals. This full-family involvement and regular communication will help the child to progress and make great gains, as there will be consistency with treatment at home and in the therapeutic preschool program.
Parents of children with ASD and developmental delays often find it extremely helpful to talk to other parents. If a child is enrolled in a therapeutic preschool program, not only do they receive a supportive team of professionals, but they also gain a support system of parents. Other parents who share similar experiences can often offer invaluable advice and information.
If you are still learning about ASD, know that it is common for parents of children on the spectrum to feel a bit lost at first. As time goes on, you are able to learn endless information on how to continue to make a difference in the life of your child by building on the ways you already interact with them in typical routines. Some parents participate in parent trainings, read more about ASD, or connect with other parents.
In our therapeutic preschool program, CST Academy and our supportive team, we offer a wide range of services throughout the course of the day, including ABA therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and feeding therapy. Our multidisciplinary team of professionals collaborates daily to provide the best services to help children reach individualized goals. The team also communicates with the parents and primary caregivers, to encourage full-family involvement in the therapeutic process. We believe that the family members and team of therapists can both play a vital role in the development and progress of a child’s life. No one should ever have to experience something so important alone.