After the Diagnosis

Top Five Things to Do After the Diagnosis:

  • Create a team for your child. You are your child’s best advocate. Your child may need the support services of a Speech-language Pathologist, an Occupational Therapist, a Physical Therapist, a Behavior Therapist (ABA, Pivotal Response Therapy, Floor Time, etc.), or a developmental school program. Creating a team is a comprehensive undertaking that involves the child’s entire family and a team of professionals.

  • Take advantage of services that are available to you both locally and statewide. Families with children ages birth to third birthday who are experiencing developmental delays and/or have a diagnosed condition that has a high probability of resulting in developmental delay such as autism may be eligible for First Steps services. To contact your local First Steps office. Click your county of residence at this website: If your child is ages 3-22, you will need to contact your local school district. The school district will conduct any additional assessments needed at no cost. Then a team of professionals and the child’s family will develop an IEP (Individual Education Plan).

  • Sign up for the Family Supports Waiver. This waiver provides services to participants in a range of community settings.  The waiver serves persons with a developmental disability or intellectual disability. An Individualized Support Plan using a person-centered planning approach guided by an Individual Support Team will be developed for your child. The family and team identify services needed and develops a plan of care which is subject to an annual waiver services cap of $19,614. For more information on the Family Supports waiver, click on or access the Autism Society of Indiana website at

  • Educate yourself and know your rights and options. It can be overwhelming to look at the many websites that have information on autism. Start by contacting the Autism Society of Indiana or the Autism Society of America at

  • Find a caregiver support group. You can locate a caregiver support group by contacting the Autism Society of Indiana or contact the Autism Advocate in your school district. It is important to build a community. It is helpful to make friends with other parents who have children with autism and support each other. Connecting with other parents will enable you to give and receive support from families who understand your day-to-day challenges.

While there is no known cure for Autism, there are treatments and education approaches that can address some of the challenges associated with the condition. But just as there is no one symptom or behavior that identifies people with Autism, there is no single treatment that will be effective for everyone who experiences Autism.

Throughout the history of the Autism Society, parents and professionals have been confounded by conflicting messages regarding which treatment options are appropriate for children and adults who experience Autism. As each person responds to treatment differently, we cannot endorse any one treatment or program. Families should educate themselves about all options and choose what they feel is in the best interest of their child and family, based on their experience and what resources are available.

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