Monarch Center for Autism Cleveland Ohio

What to Expect

What to expect?28 You will most likely experience a wide range of emotions. These may range from shock, anger, and resentment, to fear, worry, and profound sadness. Some parents may feel guilt, while others may actually feel some relief at finally having a diagnosis. One minute you may feel like screaming, and the next minute all you want to do is cry. Each person displays his or her own range and intensity of emotions. Still, you may go through something similar to that of others who suffer a great loss:

Shock: You may feel confused or frightened, or you may find yourself in denial, questioning the diagnosis or searching for another doctor who will tell you something different.

Profound sadness or grief: As the shock subsides, these feelings may engulf you as you mourn the loss of your idealized baby.

Anger: With time, your grief may turn into anger toward your child, your spouse, or whoever may be close at hand. You may also feel resentment toward other parents with healthy children.

Acceptance: Ultimately, you begin to accept your child's diagnosis and the changes that living with autism brings.

This can be a very challenging time. The main thing to remember is that all of these emotions you're feeling are normal. Be patient with yourself. It can be a long time before you are able to feel a sense of acceptance about your child's disability. But most parents who have been through this already will assure you that eventually that time does come.


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