Autism Diagnosis, Resources & Therapies: Step 1: Figure Out How You Feel

Today I’m starting a lengthy series called Autism Diagnosis, Resources & Therapies.

Why so lengthy?

I’d like to walk parents through the process that my husband and I have been going through for the last 4 1/2 years…in an organized and condensed version, of course :).

My prayer for this series is to cut through the weeds that I had to go through to find things that really worked for us.  Be aware: what works for our family may not work for yours for multiple reasons.  This is simply a guide and an attempt to point you in a direction other than, “I don’t know what to do next.”

Okay, so your child has been diagnosed with autism…now what?

Well, the first step is to figure out how you feel.

Autism Diagnosis, Resources & Therapies: Step 1: Figure Out How You Feel

Why do you have to figure out how you feel?

Because you have to tell everyone else.

You and your spouse, that is.

If your spouse is not with you at diagnosis, make sure you talk to them first.  It is a crucial time for your marriage and you must cling to each other and be each other’s support.  His family may not take it well.  Your family may not take it well.  And you’re in no place to comfort your in-laws or family of origin when you are fighting with your spouse.

Cry about it, hug each other, feel relief that you know what “it” is, try to get some laughter into the conversation, resolve to set some goals, make a “next step” list together, promise to not look at your child any differently than you lovingly did the day before, sit together quietly, spend some time reeling it through your minds, and get comfortable with the verbiage before you make one more phone call.

“Our child has autism.”

Resource List:

An Essay: Welcome to Holland

Autism Speaks First 100 Day Kit

The Woman at the Pool

Dear Mom at the Park

This post is part of a series.  For the complete series, go here.


  1. Cindy | 27th Aug 14

    Thanks, Rachel. If I can be of any help with your friend, let me know. I love connecting with moms of newly diagnosed kids.

  2. Elaina | 23rd Aug 14

    This is such a great resource and I think it will be helpful to people seeking this advice. Thank you!

  3. valmg @ Mom Knows It All | 20th Aug 14

    This might be especially helpful to those seeking a diagnosis or those that just received one.

  4. Cindy | 17th Aug 14

    Thanks so much, Sara. It’s a step that I’ve had to repeat a few times and I’m sure I will a few more!

  5. Sara P. (@SensiblySara) | 15th Aug 14

    Fantastic resource!! I wouldn’t have thought about thinking about my feelings, but that’s a really great point.

  6. Michelle | 15th Aug 14

    Great resources and a great read for anyone in this situation!

  7. Jesica H | 15th Aug 14

    Great list of resources and your serious will I’m sure help a lot of people. So true about figuring out how you feel too — it is important that you and your spouse get control of your feelings before talking to others.

  8. Emily | 15th Aug 14

    This is an important step, but it certainly isn’t easy. My youngest has a rare disease and it took me a long time to come to terms with how it made me feel.

  9. Rachel @ Following In My Shoes | 15th Aug 14

    Thank you so much for starting this series — I haven’t been in your shoes but have friends who recently learned that their child has Autism. I’m going to find a way to share this with her.

  10. Jessica Urgelles | 15th Aug 14

    Great resources.

  11. Crystal | 15th Aug 14

    Thank you for being open to your experiences & sharing them with all of us. I know that I turn to the internet for all concerns I have regarding my children’s health, development, education, etc. It’s great to know there are quality resources available online.

  12. LyndaS | 15th Aug 14

    Thanks for sharing these resources. You never know who it might help.

  13. Kira | 15th Aug 14

    Great list, and I agree having the right support system goes a long way.

  14. Lisa | 15th Aug 14

    I think this is a great series too. And very helpful.

  15. Nina Say | 15th Aug 14

    This is not only a great resource for those with children on the spectrum, but also those who have a relative that isn’t their child. In my experience (which isn’t much) those around a child sometimes don’t fully understand, or don’t know how to act, and reading something like this provides an excellent view through the parent’s eyes.

  16. Yoly | 15th Aug 14

    Thank you for doing this series. There’s not much good information and this will be a great resource.

  17. Kimberly Grabinski | 15th Aug 14

    I bet this is really helpful for people who have a child with autism.

  18. Angela S | 15th Aug 14

    You are so good to do this series. I have a feeling you are going to help a lot of parents with questions about autism.

  19. Anne-Marie @ This Mama Cooks! On a Diet | 15th Aug 14

    I have friends who never told us that their son was on the spectrum. It was obvious to us and I felt it was so bizarre. Their son is in college now and is doing so well that you wouldn’t know he had issues when he was younger. Still it was odd.

  20. Shell Feis | 15th Aug 14

    I love that you are doing this series. I think so many people will benefit. I have a friend going through this and being on the same page with her spouse is a big deal.

  21. Kerri | 14th Aug 14

    What a great list of resources. I’m a teacher and it is helpful to have the links.

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