Question: What are suggestions for getting through the early days, after diagnosis?
Answer: After receiving the first diagnosis of an autistic disorder, many families tell me that they feel absolutely overwhelmed. They have all the emotions that happen with the initial diagnosis, and they may also feel overwhelmed by the number of things they feel they need to do.
Different relatives and professionals and other families may offer a number of suggestions, saying you have to try this diet or that medicine or this treatment. It's critical that families allow themselves some initial time to deal with their emotions, take a breather and establish a plan.
When families are establishing that plan, they have to prioritize those treatments they want to start first. They can't possibly do it all initially. They may be helped by getting advice from a medical professional about those evidence-based treatments that are most urgently started.
Once families have a list developed about what they need to do first, they should prioritize making appointments for things that take time to get into. If there's an evaluation or a treatment that has a waiting list of three months, they should make those appointments right away. And they can use the intervening time to take their breath, deal with their emotions and come up with a list of those interventions that they want to prioritize.