James E. Byassee, Ph.D.
Life will offer up extreme challenges with having a child on the spectrum but it will also offer you a deepening in your capacity for patience, compassion and successes to watch your child grow and learn. My deepest wish is for you to honor your child by releasing your expectations and to grasp your role of parenting with creativity and discovery of this soul who is in your care.
Kathleen Nadeau, Ph.D.
Joycelyn Parish, Ph.D.
off the past.
For some parents, an autism diagnosis for their child is a huge surprise and disappointment. If the diagnosis is very new, this may be an intense reaction, but within what could be expected. If you notice these changes are ongoing for more than a few weeks and your wife is expressing concern, then finding someone for her to talk with could be helpful.
Many autism service organizations run parent support groups where parents come together to talk about their family and challenges. Many parents find this to be very helpful and healing. Knowing the challenges ahead and successes others have achieved can be very hopeful. You can find a listing of local agencies and providers on the Autism Speaks website.
Some people feel more comfortable talking about family matters in a private setting with a therapist. You can also search on Autism Speaks for a local provider if you wife is interested in going to counseling. Finding a provider familiar with autism and family therapy might be especially helpful. Depending on where you live, this can be easy or very difficult.
Even between the two of you, talking about your plan for treatment for your son and any positive changes you have noticed since the initial diagnosis may help your wife see and focus on some recent successes. Family support can also help a parent remember they don't have to face the big task of raising a child with autism alone.