“Speaking as someone on the autism spectrum, I can tell you that everyday you wait is one less day of potential services that could help your child.”

Dear Parent,

I know the first time you hear the word ‘autism’ you may be full of different emotions. You may feel overwhelmed by these thoughts.

You may wonder when you see those first signs what the future may look like for your child.

During this time you may even say to yourself things such as…

“Let’s wait it out.”

“He/she’s a late bloomer.”

“We have time. Let’s see if they develop. I don’t want my child to be labeled.”

For those parents today who are reading this and have even thought about waiting it out I want to tell you today that early intervention services are critical for your child’s development. I know you may be scared on what the future has in store but when you think that way I hope you will instead of think of how much services with a diagnosis can help your child’s development.

I know this story oh to well as someone who works with parents each day. My parents for example had to fight for 18 months to get me a formal autism diagnosis so even if you decide to play the ‘wait game’ you may not realize the wait lists that might be in your local area. I know parents even to this day in extreme cases who have had to wait 18 months to 2 years because of waitlist to get a formal diagnosis.

As someone who was diagnosed with severe autism, I want you to know that I would not be the person I am today without the early intervention services I received. My parents didn’t wait. They saw the stigma on autism being Rain Man in our local community but despite all that they knew I needed assistance. After 15 from when I was diagnosed at 4 to graduating high school at 19, I can tell you I overcame many of my obstacles to become a professional speaker and author.

For the parents who have gotten their child a diagnosis and didn’t wait, thank you. I hope you will share this blog today with your friends wherever you can in the hopes we can help support a parent take those steps to getting a diagnosis.

Your friend, Kerry