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What is My Next Step?
My child has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Try not to feel overwhelmed, but find good information and take it step by step. Information here will get you started and link you to useful resources.
Also, remember to take care of yourself during the process. Having a child with ASD can affect everyone in the family.
Get Early Intervention Services as Soon as Possible
Is your child covered by Medicaid Insurance?
Contact your local Community Mental Health to access Applied Behavior Analysis, speech therapy, psychological, or other services.
Ask anyone who is working with your child how you can teach and support your child at home. Use goals and strategies taught at school and in therapy during your daily routines.
Connect with your local autism support group. Also be sure to take care of yourself and your family. This might include seeking parent training or sibling support groups.
Is your child covered by private insurance?
Contact your insurance company to find out if Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), speech therapy, psychological, or other services are available for children with ASD.
See the Guide for Insurance Representative Communications for questions to ask.
Determine Eligibility for Free Educational and Family Services
Arm Yourself with Knowledge
Educate yourself through trainings, conferences, websites, and books. It is important that you find information that has good supporting evidence such as these websites:
- Autism Spectrum Disorders – Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
- Evidence-Based Practices – National Professional Development Center on ASD (NPDC) and Association for Science in Autism Treatment (ASAT)
- Special Education Resources for Families – Michigan Alliance for Families (MAF)
Be a member of your child’s school team and health care team. Advocate for your child by setting goals and developing plans for now and in the future. Working together is very important. You are the center of your child’s team!
Talk to your immediate family, extended family, and friends about what your child needs and how they can help. A good book to share with others is 10 Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew by Ellen Notbohm.
Develop a safety plan, especially if you child has a tendency to wander. Find information at Autism Safety Project Resources.
If you need additional guidance, find help from the Autism Alliance of Michigan at MiNavigator Program or 1-877-463-AAOM.
One suggested resource for families of newly identified children is the First 100 Day Kit by Autism Speaks.