I have read in several sources that it is best to get therapy started as soon as possible after a diagnosis of autism.  Your child has a better chance of reaching their full potential if therapy is enacted at a young age.  Because of this sense of urgency, I fell into the trap that I needed to get everything done now . If  I didn't,  I felt major guilt and thought of myself as a bad parent because I was sacrificing my child's future.  Try not to fall into that guilt trap.  I also felt like I needed to read every book and article on autism spectrum disorders.  With my degree in Veterinary Medicine and my experience with reading scientific and medical articles, I knew I could find some loophole or some combination of vitamins or whatever that would cure my kids and we could return to a normal life.  I read as much as I could about all the latest trends in autism research.   The end result was that I read so much so quickly,  that I became  very confused with the mountains of information..  Your journey down the autism spectrum disorder road is not a sprint.  It is a long  marathon.  Take your time.  You will be less stressed.

     My second piece of advice is realize that every child on the autism spectrum is a unique and slightly different person. What works on one child may not work on another.  You will hear about Johnny down the street improving drastically on treatment x,y,z .  When you hear how much  he has improved, you have to rush out and get your child on this treatment only to find out that it  does nothing for you child..  When these treatment failures happen several times,  it is easy to become desperate and as a result  try any type of treatment including ones that are  borderline quackery or at least have no medical or antidotal  evidence that it works.  It is best to discuss any treatment you are considering  with a doctor who is experienced in treating children  with autism.  Also read some reputable books written by  the medical establishment (  I will recommend some good books later in this site.)

     My third piece of advice is to keep a journal.  A journal can be a valuable tool in your arsenal.   Once I started writing  a journal I found it was  therapeutic for me.  I could talk to myself about the negative emotions I was feeling  and work out a lot of the issues.  I would also write down anything that was positive or uplifting.  When I got down or depressed,  I would pull out the journal and read through the positive entries.  It made a big difference in my overall attitude.  I would write down any of my children's  successes and failures and try to figure out why they occurred .  I would write down when tantrums occurred and what happened immediately before the tantrum.   I kept a food journal of what my children ate in case food allergies were a cause of bad behavior.   Write down whatever you feel is necessary.  The list is endless.  On the next page you will find an outline covering some of  the initial steps I feel should be taken.                                               
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