What Resources are Available for Parents After an Autism Diagnosis is Made?
One of the most important things to be sure of once your child has received an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnosis is that the label comes from a qualified practitioner. Anyone can assume, so be sure to check credentials.
There are resources that offer many types of assistance to children with Autism worldwide. One commonly known free resource is the public-school system. Each county has a program, for instance Palm Beach County, Florida has a program called Florida Diagnostic & Learning Resources System – https://www.palmbeachschools.org/ese/cfoverview/.
Early steps typically assist with ages 0 – 3 for intervention programs. Always remember, this process takes time. Every parent wants instant gratification and immediate testing. Be patient and follow up with the resource on a regular basis for answers. Under 3 years of age, families may be able to receive some therapies at home.
Child Find is the next age bracket that assists children with Autism at ages 4 and 5. This usually includes placement in a public school classroom where the child will also receive an IEP (Individual Education Plan). Parent advocates are also available as a resource and will help you through the process.
There are scholarships and resources available to families that have a special needs child. Step Up for Students is a nonprofit organization that helps administer the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship (FTC) and the Personal Learning Scholarship Accounts (PLSA) program. The scholarships are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis and empower families with a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to customize their children’s education.
FTC Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
PLSA Email: PLSA@sufs.org