You knew that something was different.  So you took your child for a developmental evaluation and your child was diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  And now your life has just become infinitely more complex.

When a child is diagnosed with a developmental disorder such as ASD, you may feel many emotions.  Some parents may feel relieved and validated. Finally, they have answers to the many concerns and differences that they’ve noticed in their child’s development. Other parents may feel grief that their child’s life may not progress in the way that they had originally dreamed of or imagined.  Still other parents may feel anger, fear, worry, surprise, confusion or overwhelm.  You may also experience a confusing mix of conflicting emotions that vary by the week, day, or even hour.

There is no one “right” or “wrong” way to react to a diagnosis because everyone is different. Our personalities, past history, and current experiences all merge to shape our unique reactions to any circumstance.  Give yourself the gift of time and compassion while you process your emotions.  Be sure to seek the kind of support that you need from the people who can provide it for you.

It is important to remember that although your child has a diagnosis and it feels like life will never be the same, truthfully, nothing has actually changed.  Your child will continue to be their delightful self, with the same strengths and abilities that they’ve always had.  The only difference is that now you have a name for the challenges that you have always noticed.


An ASD diagnosis is NOT a prediction of your child’s future.  With enough intense, collaborative work with dedicated professionals, a hefty dose of belief in your child (and a sprinkling of faith and good luck), almost any child can be anything that they want to become.  So much of our children’s success hinges on the environments and people that they are exposed to, the love that is showered upon them, and the skills that they are taught.

Let’s attack another common misconception about ASD diagnoses. An ASD diagnosis does NOT mean that your child is not bright, capable, friendly, joyful, kind or talented.  Your child does have and will have all the many gifts and attributes we value for ourselves and our children.  Unfortunately, the diagnostic criteria of ASD do hyperfocus on your child’s weaknesses and do not mention any of their strengths.  An ASD diagnosis simply doesn’t describe or discuss the strengths or individuality of your incredible child.   But nobody should ever be defined or related to exclusively by their challenges. 


The main value in an ASD diagnosis is that it is an extremely helpful tool.  It rules out what difficulties are NOT present so that you don’t need to waste valuable time on a wild-goose chase. If your child has ASD, it usually means that their challenges are not symptoms of a medical or emotional condition.  It also validates what difficulties ARE present. An objective outsider has met your child and identified the concerns you have seen yourself. Your concerns aren’t a product of your imagination.

The most important reason it is important to have an ASD diagnosis is because it gives you, the parent, a roadmap for how to best help your child.  Our society has already invested billions of dollars into reasearching the most effective treatments for autism.  Although science has yet to discover the cause for autism, there have been major breakthroughs establishing evidence-based treatment protocols for autism.  An ASD diagnosis is the first step to figuring out the best way to help your child.


One of the best ways that you can help your child with ASD succeed is to harness the power of their strengths to overcome their weaknesses.   Maximize your child’s potential and hire a team of behavior, educational and psychologist professionals to design a comprehensive ABA program, which is the gold-standard in helping individuals with ASD and their families live their best lives.  Interact Therapy Services matches families with high-quality, trusted ABA professionals who will listen to your concerns, get to know your child’s strengths, and design an individual treatment plan that will meet your needs.

At Interact Therapy Services, we offer in-home ABA therapy services to children and their families.  Our caring and committed professionals will work together with you to teach your child the skills that they need to progress and succeed.

To find out more about Interact Therapy Services, call 732.806.0804 for a free no-obligation phone consultation.  We look forward to helping you and your child!