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When Your Second Child is Diagnosed With Autism

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It was just a few weeks ago that my daughter was officially diagnosed with autism. I am now a mom that has two kids on the autism spectrum and I am not even sure how I feel about that.

Before my daughter was even born, we were told that there was a chance she could have autism. We knew what the odds were and we were okay with that. After she was born and had many medical problems, we were continually told there was a good chance she could develop autism.

I, however, continued to have hope. She had some similar symptoms that looked liked my son’s autism, but many more that were not. She was very different than what I had seen in my son, but as she got older we started seeing more and more things that looked like autism. They were small, and sometimes we weren’t sure they were even there.

When Your Second Child is Diagnosed With Autism

Officially Diagnosed With Autism

When we finally received the results of her testing from the Psychologist, it was both expected and surprising. It showed that her general adaptive functioning (measures performance in day-to-day activities required for personal and social sufficiency such as communication, daily living skills, socialization, and motor skills) were at a 8% level out of 100%. This means that she is lower functioning than 92% of kids her age. She is about a year behind in every area except motor skills and her social and relationship skills are at the level of a 8-10 month old (she’s two and half years old).

We are doing okay with the news, but there’s been so many things I never expected to feel.

Because when your second child is diagnosed with autism, it’s still just as hard as the first time. When your second child is diagnosed with autism, it’s bittersweet because you understand that a diagnosis means early intervention and better care, but it hits hard that you now have two children on the spectrum.

When your second child is diagnosed with autism, it’s like starting all over again because autism is a spectrum and what you thought you knew with the first, is completely different with the second. You think you are prepared. You think you know exactly what to do, but you don’t.

When your second child is diagnosed with autism, you wonder even more if it’s something you did. You wonder why God thought you could handle it… again.

I don’t know the answer to these questions, but I do know this: When your second child is diagnosed with autism, you fight twice as hard to get them the help they need. You may be not be prepared, but you know where to start. You know how to advocate this time, and you know that with this help, they will succeed.

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  1. Thoughtful and well said. Whether or not your child comes with a diagnosis, each one is different. You and your husband are doing a tremendous job loving your family through these challenges. I applaud your open honest thoughts on this. Personally, I wish you all the strength, courage and grace you need as you face these challenges while loving your children.

  2. I don’t have any wisdom, but want to send you a virtual hug. I have 11 year old twins with severe autism and a twelve year old with his own needs. It is an interesting journey. I can’t relate to so much of what people post on Facebook about their kids, but when anything in our family does go easily, we really, really, really know how to appreciate it! Best wishes with your sweet kids.

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