Autism: Diagnosis, Resources & Therapies

Your suspicions are true – or maybe you didn’t have a clue and someone else has pushed you to pursue this diagnosis – either way, there it is:

Your child has autism.

Autism Diagnosis, Resources & Therapies Series via My Life as a Rinnagade

At Vanderbilt, the doctor who gave our second family diagnosis said they hate to shock people by bluntly saying “your child has autism.”  They like to spoon feed it to you by saying things like, “after testing, we see that your child does currently meet the cutoff for autism spectrum disorder.”

Well, I’m more of a give-it-to-me-straight kinda person, as is my husband, so my response was “so he’s got autism?”  To which, they were forced to reply, “yes.”

So, there, the band-aid’s been ripped off.  Now we can step forward and see what we’re really dealing with.

Did we grieve it?  Yes.  Do we still grieve it at every milestone?  Yes, to some degree.  Do we praise God for the boys’ strengths that defy the stereotypes?  Absolutely.

But we also recognize God’s assignment for us as parents of special needs children:

This will not be easy.  People will not understand.  Your family will not look, feel or function like everyone elses or as you’d imagined when you were pregnant and it is not a mistake this is so.

You will have to try your best to cut a clear path for your children in a world that is not equipped to handle autism.  And whether you want it to be or not, to some degree in your corner of the world, it is now your job to educate others.

But there’s some things you’ll have to take care of first…

Step 1: Figure Out How You Feel

Step 2: Get Educated Part 1: Scratching the Surface

Step 3: Get Educated Part 2: Getting to the Core

Step 4: The Roads Less Traveled: Therapy Options

Step 5: Assemble Your Autism Team Part 1: Why?

Step 6: Assemble Your Autism Team Part 2: How?

Step 7: Choosing the Right Education

Step 8: Keep On Keepin’ On & Securing Your Mask

Check back soon or subscribe to my newsletter to make sure you never miss a post! 


  1. What a Year in Public School Has Taught Us - My Life as a Rinnagade Equipping Parents, Homeschooling Special Needs | 3rd Feb 17

    […] After much prayer and numerous discussions, my husband and I have decided to keep our oldest home next year and send the other two boys back. We will be focusing on The Son-Rise Program with him and at the end of the day we still didn’t feel like a school was the best environment for a child with autism. […]

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    […] to come into play. Having a ADHD in the house, this gets my attention.  Knowing most children with autism are especially enticed by screen time, I wanted some info specific to the twins. The most convincing […]

  3. Cindy | 31st Dec 15

    Hi Cassie,
    Thanks for stopping by! Congrats on your choice to homeschool!
    I do not recommend a particular curriculum; I prefer to pick and choose by subject. I list our choices every year under the homeschool tab, “Our Curriculum & Schedule.”
    That being said, as you read in the post, I do follow the Charlotte Mason approach for the majority of our homeschool. If you read more on Charlotte Mason, you’ll quickly find she did not recommend formal schooling until age 6, but to focus on good habits and being outside instead. Having four kids aged 2-8, I can say, I agree! I did a lot with the boys upfront that I now see as frivolous, ESPECIALLY in light of their autism diagnosis. Simply Charlotte has a great resource called “The Early Years.”
    As I’m sure you already know, autism calls for a lot of adjustments with whatever curriculum you find.
    So for a 3-year-old on the spectrum, in my humble opinion, I would say…
    * read, read, read and then read some more – good quality living books
    * look into The Son-Rise Program and focus all of your efforts on SOCIAL. Raun K. Kaufman wrote a book called “Autism Breakthrough” that will change your life – I wish I would’ve had that book at diagnosis! I wrote a review on it if you want to look into it. Academics can wait. I promise you, they can. They may actually do more harm than good at this stage creating control battles.
    Honestly, that is it for now. I would love to answer any more questions you have as they come up :).
    Take care!

  4. Cassie | 30th Dec 15

    I just want to thank you for this post. My 3 year old son is being evaluated on Jan. 19th for autism. My husband and I are sure he is some where on the spectrum, we just aren’t sure where. It’s scary but at the same time we are ready for him to be diagnosed so we can get resources we need to help our son. We are planning on homeschooling so I really enjoyed one of your post about homeschooling an autistic child. Do you recommend a certain curriculum?

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