Deciding when to tell your child about their diagnosis is a personal decision and there is no right or wrong answer. Some parents like to tell their child straight away and some parents prefer to wait until a later date. We have compiled some general advice which may support you during this time:
Don’t avoid using the correct terminology
Don’t be afraid to use the term ASD, it can be confusing for a child if you avoid using the correct terminology. Try to be open and honest about the diagnosis.
Learn more about ASD
Try to find out more about ASD so you can get a better understanding of it. Some children will ask questions about the diagnosis and therefore it is important to be able to answer these for them. Try not to give too much information at once as this may be overwhelming. Answer questions as they arise.
Reassure your child that a diagnosis is not a negative thing and talk about the positive aspects of ASD. Focus on how unique, special and valued they are. Talk to your child about the fact that ASD means they view the world in a different way to other children but being different is not a negative thing.
Your child is not alone
Reassure your child that lots of other children have a diagnosis of ASD. Look at books together which are designed for children with ASD such as ‘Autism, talking about a diagnosis’ by Rachel Pike.
Telling your child about any diagnosis may feel like a difficult task, but comforting and reassuring them during the process will help you both move forwards.
To find out more about ASD support, please see our directory.