My child has received an Autism diagnosis – now what?

What a complicated time – emotional, life-changing, and perhaps, finally an answer to all of those questions you were having. It feels like a long road to get here, but with an answer you can now move forward. But how? Where do I go? Who do I talk to? Who can help me…

While this time is so complex, we are here to offer every ounce of information we can. After all, knowledge is power and no matter what you choose, you’ve taken a step and this is all that matters.

  1. FSCD

Let’s begin with FSCD: Family Support for Children with Disabilities (https://www.alberta.ca/fscd.aspx). You will hear so many families talking about this acronym. It’s a government agency put in place to fund areas of your life that you or your child require assistance in. To name a few:

  • Respite: to let you and your family catch a break, while allowing your child to form a new connection with someone who can care for their needs
  • Clinical services: speech, occupational therapy, behaviour management, psychology services, physiotherapy, disability related counselling
  • Other care needs including clothing budgets, home cleaning, hospital appointment coverage, travel funding

We suggest getting started with FSCD as soon as you can, since getting approvals can take some time.

  1. Autism Society of Edmonton Area

FSCD gives an approved list of providers for services required. It is good to know that while these are all very reputable agencies, others exist too. A great place to find this information is the Autism Society website’s guide for next steps (http://www.autismedmonton.org/autism-edmonton-next-step). Select the age range of your child, and find all services and providers that may be a good fit for you.

  1. Social Networking

The best next stop is finding people to connect with. You are not alone and the following groups will give you a place to land, share your thoughts, and get direct feedback from those who have walked in your shoes. The following groups are the largest and most active, but others exist as well:

Our hope is that a short list like this helps you in your time of need and provides some clarity as to where to go next. Remember, any step forward is a good step and be kind to yourself.