How I Found Community After My Son’s Autism Diagnosis

Sign in to save article

When my youngest son was diagnosed with autism at the age of 2 and a half, it was not a surprise to me. There were enough red flags to alert me that something was atypical with my son’s development that I pressed for a second opinion — even after his pediatrician thought all of my son’s delays were “normal” for his age. Still, getting that diagnosis from the developmental pediatrician that I knew in my heart was coming did not make it any easier to be on the receiving end of the doctor’s words.

My son was already enrolled in speech, developmental, and occupational therapies due to his delays, but I immediately started educating myself more, so that I could also help him the best I could at home in between his therapy sessions. I went out and bought books about autism and “sensory-friendly” items that were recommended for children who were on the autism spectrum.

One other thing I knew I’d need during this time was support from other moms who understood what I was going through. I turned to the first place most do when they are searching for something — the internet — and I found an amazing online community. I connected with other moms whom I could go to with questions, for encouragement, and with whom I could share my joys. I found a group who made me feel like I wasn’t alone, and they didn’t judge me because they understood what I was going through.

Looking back, I can see that seeking out an online community was one of the best things I could have done for myself all those years ago. As time has gone on, and my son has gotten older, I started seeking out adults who had autism to listen to and learn from their unique first-hand perspectives. I’ll always be grateful, though, for that first community I discovered, full of moms who held my hand during some of my hardest parenting years and who helped me learn how to advocate for my son when he couldn’t do so for himself.

Tags: Living with a Disability, Family

Sign in to save article
Share

Written By

Alicia Peiffer

Alicia lives in the Chicago suburbs where she is raising two preteens and a toddler with her husband. She works from home... See Full Bio

CircleAround will make financial distributions to benefit current Girl Scouts: the next generation of trailblazers who will CircleAround after us. So CircleAround for inspiration, and CircleAround the leaders of tomorrow. CircleAround is owned by One GS Media, a subsidiary of Girl Scouts of the USA.

Love this article?

Sign up for the newsletter to get the best of CircleAround delivered right to your inbox.

Welcome
to our circle.

CircleAround will make financial distributions to benefit the next generation of trailblazers who will CircleAround after us.

So CircleAround for inspiration, and the leaders of tomorrow.

About Us