Why pursue a diagnosis?
Some parents might be very reluctant to pursue an autism assessment and diagnosis for their child.
We appreciate that the “What if?” stage can be a highly stressful time, and that often, well meaning family members and friends feed into the confusion by telling parents things like, “Don’t worry,” or “I don’t know why children need labels,” or “Why don’t you just wait and see what happens?”
Here are some of the key reasons why we so strongly encourage parents to seek answers as soon as they start to have concerns that their child might have autism:
- A diagnosis gives access to funding
- Teachers and schools will have information that will allow them to more effectively support your child
- Your child will be entitled to accommodations and disability provisions (if needed).
- You will gain a better understanding of how your child processes the world.
- Your child will understand themselves better and know that they are connected to a larger group of people on the autism spectrum.
Not surprisingly, the vast majority of parents of children with an autism diagnosis wish that they had received answers even earlier.
Finally, even if your child is assessed and is NOT diagnosed with autism, a robust assessment process still has immense value: it can help reveal the specific reasons for a child’s challenges and the most effective support for them.