We have a diagnosis. Now what?
Feel your feelings. Grieve the loss of the neurotypical child you had thought you had. It’s normal. Find support groups. Build a team that will communicate. Be the best advocate for your child. Be ready to fight for every inch of support he is supposed to have (like an IEP). Start researching. Be supportive. Be understanding. Realize you probably know someone going through the same thing, even if you don’t think you do.
There is no right or wrong way to start the process of getting services. Sometimes, going through your school district is best. Sometimes, doing it privately while you fight for what your child needs is necessary. The first thing is to call your insurance and see what is covered, what isn’t covered, costs, co-pays, deductibles. Talk to your pediatrician and the people who diagnosed as to what they recommend. Start researching options. Look into grants if funds are an issue. Look into programs that could help. Look into products that may help (like we did with the AngelSense).
See if you can find a convention or group to start to learn who the different providers are in your area. Schedule appointments to meet and see if you think they’ll be a good fit. Build a support network. This doesn’t need to be major. Our families are 1,000 miles away. So, we make friends. We have monthly get-togethers with neighbors to play games. We have a babysitter or two for the occasional times we can leave the kids.