One super fun thing that I get to do at Help Me Grow every so often is attend various playgroups around the area. Usually these moms want us to come and do the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) with them.
NEWS FLASH: The Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) is a developmental screening tool developed for parents to use to track their child’s development. It focus on the areas of communication, gross motor, fine motor, problem solving and personal-social skills. It’s a valid and reliable tool used in many pediatric offices. If you want to try it for YOUR children….call Help Me Grow!
Ok…back to the story. So I was at a playgroup last week and did all the usual spiel…talked about Help Me Grow, how we connect parents to resources and information about child development…laaa ddeee daaa. The mom’s loved it! Then we started the ASQ. They were going through the questions, playing with their babies or older kids, asking them to do each activity and it was so fun!
After talking with one of the mom’s about some of the questions and her concerns that she had with her son, she told me that just the day before, her pediatrician had told her that her son could have Autism and that she was afraid and uncertain of the unknown because she had no idea what “autism” was. She was just afraid because of the unknown.
Diagnoses like that ARE always scary. And they always change a parent’s original idea of how their child would grow up and how their family would be to something completely different. Sometimes that “different” idea is SUPER hard.
The great thing is that there are SO many resources available to help educate and support these families. That’s one thing that we do at Help Me Grow!
I want to share just ONE resource that I pretty much always give to a family who is beginning this new journey. It’s an Autism Fast StartCheck-List. This checklist includes items that tell you “what to do now??” and lists of reliable websites that you can use as you begin learning about Autism.
Hopefully for all those that are just curious about autism, have a child with autism or know of a child with autism, can learn a little bit more and advocate for those around them. Enjoy!