3 Tips for Fostering Growth for Your Child with Autism

They’re not babies anymore, here’s how to help your child growing up with autism.

One in every 34 children are diagnosed with autism, 4 percent are boys and 1 percent are girls. As they grow, the challenges parents face change. One of the biggest is enrolling in school. 

That’s why the Living With Autism Workshop offered several popular sessions for parents of kids in the middle stages focused on the IEP, as well as the need to make sure they grow up as healthy as they can.

IEPs 101: Developing the Best Educational Path for Your Child

Dr. Melissa Maye at Henry Ford Health helps you learn the basics of initiating an IEP and shares advocacy tips to ensure effective communication and collaboration with your child’s special education team.

Main takeaways:

  • How parents can work together with the school as a team and how to move past any difficulties to ensure the best educational path for their child.
  • For any child the preschool age through middle school and high school, if you start to have a concern for your child, it’s not too late or too early to bring that to the school’s attention, she says.
  • As soon as you believe that your child is able to either participate or you feel like it’s important for them to be there, you should absolutely bring them to the IEP meeting, she says. “This meeting is about them and for them.” 

IEP Dispute Resolution: How to Talk About When Your Child’s Educational Plan Isn’t Working

Beth Kohler and Cheryl Levine of Special Education Mediation Services have probably seen it all when it comes to special needs disputes, and can help if your IEP or school discussions have hit a stumbling block.

Main takeaways:

  • The mediation and facilitation services are free and easy to access.
  • The focus of mediation is to find an appropriate way to support a student even when communication breaks down. Facilitation services can take some of the stress off meeting with schools.
  • Mediators are very well trained to come up with collaborative new ideas and new solutions to any conflict to do best for the child.

Health Care for the Whole Child: The Benefits of Comprehensive Primary Care for Youth with ASD

Many families with a child with autism don’t look forward to well-child visits, but that doesn’t have to be the case, says Dr. Jacqueline Metz of Henry Ford Health. She shares tips to help while also managing conditions associated with autism.    

Main takeaways:

  • It’s a good goal to establish a medical home that can provide continuous care throughout your child’s life.
  • 50% of children with a diagnosis of autism may also qualify for a diagnosis of ADHD. It is just one of the things doctors may want to test for. Sleep apnea and nutrition issues might also be on that list.
  • Preparation and planning ahead can make a doctor’s and dentist’s visit go much more smoothly.

You can access other session recordings and presentations at MetroParent.com.

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Metro Parent Editorial Team
Metro Parent Editorial Team
Since 1986, the Metro Parent editorial team is trained to be the go-to source for metro Detroit families, offering a rich blend of expert advice, compelling stories, and the top local activities for kids. Renowned for their award-winning content, the team of editors and writers are dedicated to enriching family life by connecting parents with the finest resources and experiences our community has to offer.


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