Thursday, December 10, 2015

Behavior Plan For Parents of Newly Diagnosed Autistic Children

A Behavior Plan For Parents of Newly Diagnosed Autistic Children.

Your feelings about autism are constructed by living in a world that fears and stigmatizes disabled lives.  Your distress about an autism diagnosis are most certainly  because of these unhealthy messages.  Please remember that your behavior in regards to your child’s diagnosis is a choice.  Signing this behavior plan means that you will always put the dignity, autonomy, and love for your child above buying into the dominant narrative of tragedy or the belief that autism is something that the Autistic person is doing to you.

  • I promise to never use my child’s most vulnerable moments for sympathy or to “raise awareness”.   I recognize that I am my child’s safety net against an often hostile world.  When I feel like sharing, I will ask myself if this is something that I would want others to share about me.  
  • I will never blame autism when I have a hard time parenting my child.  Parenting is stressful at times, but rewarding as well.  This is true for ANY child and I will recognize this.
  • I will prioritize the voices of Autistic people over the “experts” as I recognize that Autistic people are the ultimate experts on their own lives.  
  • I will throw out the myth of a “developmental window” and acknowledge that my child will grow and learn in their own time, in their own way with my love, guidance and nurturing.
  • I will never apologize for my child being openly Autistic.
  • I will look at every therapy offered to my child with a critical eye.  I will ask myself what is the desired outcome?  Is it supportive or is it attempting to change my child’s neurology? I will never force my child into therapies that vow indistinguishability or that seek to “fix” or promise a non-Autistic version of my child.
  • I will embrace the neurodiversity paradigm and celebrate my child as a beautiful part of the wide and diverse spectrum of humanity.
  • I will learn about the social model of disability and confront ableism when I see it.  I will learn about the disability and autistic rights movements and use my privilege to further the cause.
  • I will learn about Autistic culture and find Autistic friends, not just for my child but for me as well. I will  promote acceptance and lead by my example.
  • I will learn about identity first language and show my child that I am proud of their Autistic identity.  
  • I will NEVER say that I love my child but not their autism.  I will recognize that autism is an integral part of who they are and shapes how they view, process and experience this world. I will love every part of my child.  I will never teach them shame  or internalized ableism.  
  • I will presume that my child is competent and understands more than may be apparent. I understand that communication is more than speech and I will support my child's communication in any form. * 
  • I will never fight autism, but I sure as hell will fight for their right to be exactly who they are in this world.  
  • I will recognize that I am only human and I will make mistakes along the way.  I will forgive myself and do better.

For a printable version of this Behavior Plan, click here.

Image: Green background with dark text that reads:  Behavior Plan for Parents of Newly Diagnosed Autistic Kids

*Thank you to Ann Littell for this contribution to the Behavior Plan!


  1. This is spectacular! Thank you, Lei!
    I will be sharing far and wide <3

  2. I couldn't love this more. These loving steps are how we move forward!

  3. This is awesome. May I add a link to this on Thanks!

    1. Yes, you may! Thank you for asking!

    2. It's up :)

      Scroll down to the Diagnosis section.

  4. And Then There Was MORE Light! This Is IT!

    We need to communicate this on a mass global level. Too bad Oprah no longer on Primetime TV. Maybe Dr. Phil would change is mindset, upon reading this testiment to the Truth of Simply Living As You Are. I am Prouder to be Autistic, NOW :) ..... A Trillion Thank You's wouldn't be enough, so I am grateful to have received this AU'some Plan đŸ˜‡

  5. This is a great piece. It's getting lots of publicity on Twitter - keep up the great work.

  6. Thank you for sharing such great information. It is informative, can you help me in finding out more detail on Child Plans, i am interested and would like to know more about this field and wanted to understand the basics of Child Plans

  7. This actually made me cry. I love this so much ♥️♥️♥️