Five Things I Would Advise Myself Post Autism Diagnosis

The time following Joseph’s diagnosis of autism, I found incredibly hard and often wished that I had that crystal ball to see into the future. Someone to tell me that everything would not always be as difficult. With all the knowledge I have gained and the lessons I have learnt, here would be my advice to myself at that time.


There is a wealth of information out there but some misleading. There are support groups, workshops, forums, books AND the internet all which have their value but take things one step at a time as it can be so overwhelming. The natural urge will be to search the internet for anything and everything but try and take it slowly no matter how tempting it may be.


People will tell you that you are superhuman and various religious thoughts on why you have been chosen to parent Joseph. There is an expectation from others that you need to manage, need to cope because you have no other choice which puts an enormous amount of pressure and strain on you. Your life will understandably become stressful and putting more pressure on yourself adds to that. Speak up and do not be ashamed to say you’re struggling. You’re human not superhuman.


You will gain a great deal of support from parents of children with special needs as they will be in a similar situation to yourself but don’t cut yourself off from existing friendships. It’s often hard to be around people who are living a life you desire. Don’t make an assumption that they won’t understand; how will they ever learn if you don’t try and educate them? True friends will want to do everything they can to understand your feelings and how your life is.


Believe in yourself, both in your ability to succeed and your knowledge of Joseph. Go with your gut instinct and it will not usually let you down. Equally, accept that you will make mistakes. You don’t suddenly become an expert yet people expect you to be. Make the mistake, learn from it and move on; it will make you a better parent.


Whether your child has special needs or not, you do not parent exactly the same as a friend would. As all people with autism are different, parents are too and because one strategy or style works for one parent, doesn’t mean it has to for you. Don’t feel afraid to be different yourself.

Live AND Learn.

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8 Comments Add yours

  1. Stephanie says:

    I can relate to each point mentioned in this post. I keep a good belief. Keeping faith and positive thoughts is a great way to overcome depressing situations.

    1. Thanks Stephanie..completely agree..we all have up and down days!

  2. This is a beautiful post. I totally agree with every single word. As I’m sure will every parent whose child has ever received a diagnosis. Perfectly put in every way. #PostsFromTheHeart

  3. Inclusive Home says:

    Great post! Different diagnosis (or non-diagnosis until very recently!), but same anxieties and insecurities.
    I’d also like to tell myself not to feel pressured by what the professionals advise or get too bogged down with all the development charts and milestones… respect what they say but like you say about parents and children all being different, the professionals mostly don’t have SEND parenting experience and if they do it will never be the same as yours! #postsfromtheheart

  4. Linda Atwell says:

    I can so relate to this BEAUTIFUL post. I am so glad I found your blog because I can tell we would get along well. You are honest about the struggles of parenting and that your style and my style may different. You know, I just believe we all love our children and do the best we can. My daughter is 37. I can tell you (unfortunately) that things have been very difficult between us until a little over a year ago. Things have improved dramatically and I am FINALLY feeling more at peace than at any other time in parenting this special daughter of mine.

    1. Ahh thank you Linda and thank you finding us. So pleased that things are improving for you and your daughter xx

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