You know your child best. If you’re worried about autism spectrum disorder (ASD), don’t be afraid to act. This article outlines the first steps you can take to seek help.
Make an appointment with an autism spectrum disorder professionalIf you think your child has autism spectrum disorder (ASD), it’s best to act quickly and make an appointment with a professional. For example, you could talk to your family doctor, your General Practitioner (GP) or a paediatrician.If the professional doesn’t have any concerns about your child, but you’re still worried, feel free to seek a second opinion – the sooner you find out your child has ASD, the sooner you can help him.Learn about autism spectrum disorder services Right away, even while you wait for an appointment, it’s good to start learning about ASD and the different services available. Talk to other parents of a child with ASD by joining forums or parent groups, read up, start researching services in your area – there are lots of ways to begin.Get an autism spectrum disorder diagnosisHave your child assessed for autism spectrum disorder (and get an assessment report) as early as you can. A thorough assessment is important for an accurate diagnosis. It helps to think of assessment as a benchmark – you can use it to measure your child’s progress later when your child starts using interventions.For a thorough assessment and a specific ASD diagnosis, make an appointment with a professional trained in diagnosing ASD, like a psychiatrist, psychologist or pediatrician (you might need a referral from your child’s doctor or GP).Start early intervention for autism spectrum disorderThe sooner a child gets early intervention services for ASD, the more effective these services are likely to be. Experts recommend early intervention for all children with ASD – the earlier the better.Some early intervention services in Singapore include WeCAN EIP.For more information about ASD and how to support your child’s early development, you could take part in training programs hosted by the Autism Resource Centre(Singapore). Read, talk, ask questionsThe more you find out about the services environment and your options the better.