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Learning that your child has autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is difficult, but it’s also the first step on your journey towards helping him. Soon after diagnosis you’ll probably have many questions – and although there are no simple answers, it helps to know what to expect.

Your child has just been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder: what to expect

With consistent, evidence-based therapies, you’re likely to see improvement in your child’s behaviour, language and social interactions. But every child on the autism spectrum behaves differently, and every child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) will respond to interventions and therapy differently too.

Early, intensive, family-based intervention is the best way to support your child’s development and wellbeing. The best treatment approaches are those that target all areas of your child’s development, social and communication skills, and behaviour. They should be adapted to your child’s strengths and weaknesses and your family’s priorities and home situation.

What works for one child and family might not work for another. Many parents find they have to try a few different types of intervention to find what works best for their child and their family.

Children who are only mildly to moderately affected by ASD might improve enough through early intervention that they no longer meet the criteria for ASD when they’re older. This doesn’t mean they no longer have ASD, but they have learned the skills that come naturally to other children – for example, making eye contact or remembering to talk about other people’s interests and not just their own.

You might hear stories about ASD treatments that lead to ‘recovery’ or a ‘miracle cure’. Although it’s natural to feel hopeful about therapies, ASD is currently a lifelong disorder and so far there’s no cure.

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