Start Research and Get in Touch with Specialists
The one thing parents must do quickly is see autism specialists and pursue further testing and evaluations, but getting the help of educational services usually means being put on waiting lists. Every state has early interventional services (often for children ages 3 and under) as well as special education (often referred to as exceptional education). Procuring these services takes time, as does getting appointments. Lisa Goring, Vice President of Family Services for Autism Speaks, says getting on waiting lists is something families should pursue even while they go through the grieving process.
"Those first days, even if you take just 20 minutes to get the process started, it helps. Some families say they never knew it would take so long to get into certain programs or see certain doctors." Goring suggests looking up local or state autism organizations in the area and contacting them to find out which doctors are recommended and which services should be pursued first. "Sometimes taking that first bit of action to get your child on the right waiting lists is the what parents need to do to help them process," Goring says.