An autism diagnosis is life-changing, but not life-defining
Autism isn’t a bad word
We have heard from many parents that they are afraid of putting a “label” on their child. We heard they are nervous for what it means for the future of their family. What we haven’t heard? Not one person has come back to tell us they wish their child hadn’t been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. In fact, more often than not, they tells us they wish they had taken the leap for an evaluation even earlier.
A diagnosis is not the end; it’s just the beginning. It’s the first step to a new world. It’s a bridge to understanding the beauty of how your child’s mind works and giving him or her the tools needed to succeed.
Early identification is imperative
When it comes to autism and behavioral delays, early identification is critical. The sooner you discover your child’s diagnosis, the more likely you are able to offer therapeutic interventions at an age early enough to impact developmental growth and catch maladaptive behaviors before they become habits. Hopebridge can administer assessments starting at 18 months of age, so if you have questions or concerns about your child’s development, don’t wait to schedule an appointment.
The science behind “the label”
What does it mean to have ASD and how is it determined? Though not everyone with autism experiences the same challenges, they are now covered under one diagnosis, autism spectrum disorder. There was a time when there were different categories, but that is no longer the case thanks to the 2013 edition of the handbook we use for mental health – the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). If a child meets the criteria the DSM-5 lays out, then he or she is considered to have ASD. Since the spectrum of symptoms is quite wide, once we have the diagnosis, we talk about different severity and functioning levels.