Feb. 26, 2021

Ep. 10: Disclosing an Autism Diagnosis to A Child

Ep. 10: Disclosing an Autism Diagnosis to A Child

In today’s episode of the Autism Empowerment Podcast, we will be starting a three-part series on Autism Diagnosis Disclosure. In Part 1, which will be today’s show, we share and discuss Disclosing an Autism Diagnosis to A Child.


Episode Summary: In today’s episode of the Autism Empowerment Podcast, we will be starting a three-part series on Autism Diagnosis Disclosure. Topics in this series include disclosure of the diagnosis from parents to their children, from parents to family, teachers and professional providers, from youth to peers, and from autistic adults to others.

In Part 1, Karen Krejcha and John Krejcha, parents to two children on the autism spectrum discuss reasons why and how to disclose an Autism Diagnosis to A Child.

Why is it important for children to have information to better understand themselves? Why are common fears that parents have which may keep them from disclosing? What might happen if a child isn't told? We'll also give suggestions on what, when and how to share this important information.

Why let your child know that he or she is autistic?

All children should have the opportunity to be understood, accepted and respected. Just as it is important for you to have your child’s diagnosis for information, understanding and support, this is also important for your child. 

Children with an autism diagnosis should have the chance to understand, accept and appreciate their uniqueness by being given information that is appropriate to their age and understanding. 

Giving your child information on the nature of their differences will give them a better understanding and the motivation that is needed to drive through challenges.

The process of explaining an autism spectrum diagnosis is ongoing. Making the information meaningful from the child’s point of view will greatly enhance the learning process. A positive focus helps maintain self esteem and an effective atmosphere for learning.

We want to empower versus stigmatize.

Topics discussed in this episode:

  • Parental fears of disclosing a diagnosis
  • What might happen if a child isn’t told they are on the autism spectrum?
  • What are signs your child might be ready to process this information?
  • When should you tell?
  • What should you say? How Much?
  • Positive concrete and matter-of-fact examples
  • Analogies and metaphors for medical jargon or tricky concepts.
  • Who should be part of this talk?
  • Famous people, role models, allies, peer mentors
  • Meeting others on the spectrum.

Related Podcast Episodes:

Autism Empowerment Podcast Episode 11: Disclosing a Child’s Autism Diagnosis to Family and Others in the Community (Series Part 2)

Autism Empowerment Podcast Episode 12: Autism Diagnosis Disclosure for Adults - When, Why and How to Disclose Your Autism Diagnosis

References from this episode:

Getting Started: Introducing Your Child to His or Her Diagnosis of Autism by Marci Wheeler, MSW  

Fun things to do:

Full Transcript. Click below on words to play. 

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Transcript