How do you tell a parent there is something wrong with their child?
I was asked this question not long ago by a teacher at a public school. How do you tell a parent their child has autism? And my reply, "Carefully".
What most people don’t realize is how difficult it is for a parent to hear that word, Autism, even the suggestion they display all the symptoms. A parent doesn’t want it to be that. What a parent wants to hear it's just “this” and all you need to do is a simple change of diet or even a pill and all will be well.
But it’s not that simple. In fact there is a grieving process that occurs for parents when they first find out something’s wrong with their child, and again when they are handed that diagnosis.
For school personnel, professionals and members of society please understand it’s not as simple as sitting a parent or parents down and telling them, “We suspect your child has autism you need to investigate and get your child diagnosed,” and then leaving them to figure out what to do first. Imagine this, “you’re in the middle of the ocean treading water, someone in a boat comes by and stops in front of you and yells out, “you’re drowning,” then speeds away without even tossing you a life-preserver.
If you’re wondering what I’m getting at. When a parent first hears their child may have autism, their response is going to be anger, shock, sorrow, fear, any number of emotions. What’s worse is leaving them to figure out on their own what to do. One of the most important pieces of information I’d hope anyone would remember is pass them a name of parent who has a child with autism who has successfully navigated the system. There are many parent groups, and their motto is never turn your back on a new parent. So by putting them in contact with another parent you’ve just thrown them that life-preserver. You’re giving that parent hope and a chance for a successful outcome for their child. Even though you may work with autistic children, it’s not the same as being a parent.
Why would I suggest a parent instead of a doctor or other professional? Ask any parent who’s been down that road, and they’ll share with you any number of horror stories of dealing with umpteen doctors only to be referred to yet another, because they don’t know or they can’t diagnose, and the state or provincial agency that does do diagnosis, has a procedure in place. This procedure can be different with every jurisdiction which could be meeting with certain professionals, such as speech and language pathologist, occupational therapists, pediatricians, an entire team which may have at least a two-year wait list and political agendas in place.
A parent who has been there can help a new parent by providing them the correct information that will hopefully make it easier.
Knowledge is power. And it’s important to empower parents. Some of the key points a parent or parents group can provide to a new parent are:
- Funding sources.
- Diagnosis, how to go about. What and who to avoid. Whom you do want to call.
- Therapy. Providing a list of credible therapists with a proven track record.
- Who to avoid (yes again), who has scammed other parents or fleeced them of their life savings with promises of miracle cures. (And most likely every parent with a diagnosed autistic child has been a victim of this in one way or another.)
- If they are associated with the government in any way, run the other direction. Ask a parent they’ll tell you why.
- In some places when your child is diagnosed with autism you are assigned a social worker, because governments view this as a social problem, not a medical condition.
This list can seem daunting. But it’s not that bad. If you’re given the right information you can successfully navigate the system in your child’s best interest. And remember it’s important to give the parent the tools to do for themselves, not do for them.
If you are a parent with a child with autism what other information would you provide to a new parent who needs to know what to do first?
How do you tell a man there is something wrong with his child?
This is by far one of the best books I have read. Lorhainne Eckhart proved herself yet again by pulling you in with a heartfelt story and keeping your attention with the passion that fills the pages. ~ ROMANCE JUNKIES
A Real Tear Jerker: Omg, I loved this book. I stayed up all night trying to finish it. I cried, My heart broke, I have an 18 year old with autism. This would make a fabulous movie... Tammy
He wasn't looking to love again. But what he got was a woman who shook his lonely bitter world upside down, and touched him in a way no other woman could.
Emily Nelson, a courageous young mother, ends a loveless, bitter marriage and strikes out on her own. She answers an ad as a cook and live-in caregiver to a three-year-old boy on a local ranch. Ranch owner Brad Friessen hires and moves in Emily and her daughter. But Emily soon discovers something's seriously wrong with the boy, and the reclusive, difficult man who hired her can't see the behavior and how delayed his son is. So Emily researches until she stumbles across what she suspects are the soft signs of autism. Now she must tell him, give him hope, and help him come to terms with this neurological disorder--to take the necessary steps to get his child the help he needs.
As their lives become intertwined, their attraction is unavoidable--a connection sparks between them. But just as they're getting close, Brad's estranged wife, Crystal, returns after abandoning the family two years earlier. Among the shock and confusion is one disturbing question Brad can't shake: How does Crystal know so much of his personal business, the inner working of the ranch, and Emily's relationship with his son?
Crystal must've had a plan, as she somehow gains the upper hand, driving a wedge in the emotional bond forged between Brad, Emily, and the children. The primary focus for care and therapy of three-year-old Trevor is diverted. The lengths to which Crystal will go, the lies, the greed, just to keep what's hers, are nothing short of cold and calculating. Emily's forced out of the house. Brad fights to save his boy, to protect what's his, and struggles over his greatest sacrifice--Emily, and the haunting question: Has he lost her forever?
More Praise for THE FORGOTTEN CHILD...
"Brilliant, there is no other word for it, heart grabbing, heart warming, gut wrenching, well written well researched, wanted to read it over & over again." Amazon Reviewer – Maureen
BLACK RAVEN'S REVIEWS - Ms. Eckhart has crafted a delightful story with engaging characters, enough drama for a Hallmark movie, and enough unconditional love to last a lifetime. ~Rated 5 Ravens and a Recommended Read by AJ!~
READERS FAVORITE *5 Star Review A real page turner ~ fast moving plot ~ a must read!
Reviewed by Brenda C. For Readers Favorite
Reviewed by Brenda C. For Readers Favorite
I didn't expect I'd fall for the four main characters as hard as I did, but The Forgotten Child is an amazing book, not just for a romance fan like myself, but for single parents who may or may not have a child with autism. ~ Reviewer ~ Adria
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Contemporary Western Romance
Rating – PG