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Learning to Accept the Diagnosis of Autism

Learning to Accept the Diagnosis of Autism

When the doctor first gives you the diagnosis of autism, it can be a bit overwhelming and scary. You may have a lot of unanswered questions. You may wonder if the diagnosis is wrong- after all, this can’t be happening to your child. There are so many feelings and emotions that come with dealing with this diagnosis.

In this article, we’ll discuss some of these emotions you may be experiencing, as well as how you can learn to accept the diagnosis of autism.

Emotions You’ll Experience

There is a range of 4 emotions that you’re going to experience when the doctor first gives you this diagnosis- starting with denial and eventually moving to acceptance. We’ll explore each one of these below:


When it comes to dealing with a medical problem, denial is one of the first emotions that you’ll experience because sometimes it’s easier to deny there’s an issue than to deal with it. There are some parents that don’t even want to consider the thought that there’s something wrong with or different about their child.

There’s no way the doctor got it right. Their child is completely normal.

However, denying the diagnosis is not going to help anyone- and it will not change the situation. Ignoring autism will not make it go away.

As a parent, it will be a huge step for you to accept this diagnosis and move on to deal with it. The sooner you do this, the better for you and your child.


Another emotion that you’re likely to experience when you’re given this diagnosis is anger. Many parents get angry with themselves and some even get angry with God. Why does my child have autism?

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You may find that you’re angry with other parents who have children that are healthy. This is all totally normal. When you start to feel angry, remind yourself of all of the wonderful things about your child. Try talking to others about how you feel. Keeping your anger bottled up is not healthy for anyone.


In some cases, after being given a diagnosis of autism, parents will go through a grieving period. They are upset that there’s something wrong or different about their child. Perhaps they’re sad because those hopes and dreams they had for their child have to change. Maybe they’re sad because they know the world is cruel to those that are different and are worried their child may be bullied.

Grief is perfectly normal as well. However, as a parent, you must move through that grief and to the acceptance stage. Stop focusing on the things that are wrong. Sure, you may have to make some changes to the plans you had for your child’s future, but that’s life. We all have to make adjustments to our plans at some point.

If you can’t get yourself past the grieving stage, you may wish to speak to someone. You may want to consider scheduling a few therapy sessions to get you through it.


The last stage in the process is accepting the diagnosis of autism. This may take a while. In some cases, parents are relieved to have an answer to what is going on with their child. Other parents struggle with accepting that their child is different.

Eventually though, you must accept that your child is different and there’s nothing wrong with that. When you take this step and accept this diagnosis, you can begin to help your child.

Take some time to do your research and consider the situation from your child’s perspective. You need to make sure that your child knows that you are behind them and support them 100%. Once you accept the diagnosis, you can begin to look for treatment options.


When you first receive the diagnosis of autism, you may have a difficult time accepting it. You may go through denial, anger, and grief. However, you must come to accept it if you want to be able to help your child.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2021 Krista Mounsey

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