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Telling your child about their diagnosis

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    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 autism, 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 autism

    Try to find out more about autism 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.

    Be positive

    Reassure your child that a diagnosis is not a negative thing and talk about the positive aspects of autism. Focus on how unique, special and valued they are. Talk to your child about the fact that autism 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 autism. Look at books together which are designed for children with autism 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 autism support, please see our directory.

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