This can be one of the more important conversations a family may have; giving kids information on their diagnosis, how their brain works and the nature of their differences will allow them to understand themselves and others better. A child who understands how their mind and body works will have the tools to embrace difficulties and face any challenges, and if the information comes from a reliable and lovable source much better.
In April we host a conversation between Maria Alejandra Mejia, our founder, and Federica Rossi, Psychologist & ABA Therapist, and here are some of the key messages around introducing your child to his or her diagnosis:
3 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD TELL YOUR CHILD ABOUT HIS/HER DIAGNOSIS:
• Giving your child accurate information about himself/herself, can prevent feeling and perceiving themselves as a disappointment or failure.
• So your child won’t come to the wrong conclusion about their perceived differences. They may even wonder if they have a terminal illness and are going to die.
• Autism is a part of who they are; sometimes, finding that missing puzzle can help answer any questions and have a deeper understanding of who they are.
3 BEST PRACTICES FOR WHEN YOU DECIDE TO TALK WITH YOUR CHILD ABOUT HIS/HER DIAGNOSIS:
• It is important to use precise but straightforward words in relation to the child’s age, personality, and emotional maturity. Don’t saturate your child with information.
• Ensure your child is actively listening and comprehending what you are saying; this can be done by constantly asking him/her how he feels and if he has any questions about it.
• Try to provide your child with a list of behaviors and or qualities or traits that make him/her neurodiverse, but simultaneously make a list of all the other things that make your child an ordinary and boring human being.