Mother and Son Playing Near Lake

Detailed below is a mother’s firsthand experience of raising a primary school-aged boy, who was diagnosed with Autism when he was 3 years of age.

 What were the initial signs that raised concerns about your son’s development?

The first things that were obvious to me were his behaviour and his communication. He seemed to play with toys in inappropriate ways, such as lining them up. His language skills also seemed to be behind kids the same age. I found that things set him off very easily, like if something was different to what he expected.

What services did your son receive after he was diagnosed with Autism?

He attended a play group and we started speech therapy early on. He also had occupational therapy and Connect Therapy which was conducted in our home.

Did you find these services were beneficial to your son’s development?

They were amazing and made a huge difference. Early intervention made such a change in my son’s life.

Would you change anything in terms of the services you used?

Not a thing. I’m really satisfied with the progress my son has made.

What did you do to prepare your son for preschool and school?

I used a lot of visuals to help him prepare. He used to be very anxious about new things, but the visuals really helped. We also went on visits to his school before he actually began.

Is there any advice you would offer to parents whose child has recently been diagnosed with Autism?

I would say just to listen to all the specialists and it’s important to work on all the therapists’ goals with your child at home. That way you have an understanding of the whole process. Just listen and take everything on board.

What are you looking forward to in the future for your son?

I would just like him to be happy with life. I want him to be able to adjust to changes and be able to communicate with everyone and not struggle.