INTRODUCTION

Why was my child diagnosed with autism? What does it mean?

Your child has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and you have asked for help. This is an important turning point in a new chapter of your family’s life. For some families, it may be the moment when, after a long search for answers, you now have a name for something you didn’t know what to call but you knew existed. Perhaps you suspected autism but felt that an evaluation would prove otherwise. Maybe it was a teacher, doctor or friend of yours who suggested you get your child evaluated and you are surprised that their concerns and suspicions were accurate. Many families report mixed feelings when their child is diagnosed. You may feel relieved to know that the concerns you have for your child are valid. You also may feel upset or overwhelmed. Whatever it is you feel, know that thousands of families share this journey. You are not alone. There is help.

Now that you have the diagnosis, the question is where do you go from here? The Autism Speaks 100 Day Kit was created to help you make the best possible use of the next 100 days in the life of your child. It contains information and advice collected from trusted and respected experts on autism and from parents like you. As you begin your journey or continue on a path you have already started, remember your child is still the same person they were before the diagnosis.