Consequences of Autism Denial Can Be Far Reaching

Autism Denial Covering Ears


One of the most harmful things a parent can do when they suspect their child has autism or any other developmental disability is to ignore the problem.

Studies and supporting evidence have consistently shown that early intervention is a critical factor in a child’s ability to mainstream themselves into schools and society later in life.  Denial is something that can be detrimental and exist with both parents, but it’s more common with fathers because it’s the father who usually refuses to believe that his son or daughter is somehow not "normal."  I know this, because I was one of them.

Usually, it’s a pre-school teacher, family member, or Sunday school volunteer who is the first to notify parents about something they have already known: their child’s behavior is concerning enough to warrant an evaluation by a physician or specialist.  

When several church volunteers tried to tell me my son wasn’t acting in a "normal" way, I became offended and angry, thinking they were overreacting and being unreasonable.  Many months went by from this initial warning to when we finally received an official autism diagnosis.  These were precious months of valuable time that were squandered away because of denial.  Thankfully, our son is mainstreamed and living a happy, productive life and doing far better than anyone had predicted at the time.  However, some families are not as fortunate and ignoring the red flags in the early years and doing nothing can have detrimental consequences down the road.

Fathers have many dreams and aspirations for their children when they are born.  Maybe it’s for them to be an outstanding athlete, a political leader, a star musician, or someone who will accomplish great things in life.  While all of these are still very achievable, even after an autism diagnosis, it’s the recalibration of expectations that is usually the most difficult thing for a parent to deal with.

Denial is a form of pride and should not play a role in whether or not a child has access to early intervention therapy.  As a parent, we always want the best for our children and many times, there are sacrifices that need to be made to ensure this happens.  If this means humbling ourselves and admitting there is a problem early on, than a parent should not let anything get in the way of their child getting the best possible help as soon as possible.

Our children should be a top priority in our lives.  This means putting them in front of friends, other family members — and even ourselves.  There is no denying that.

8 Responses to Consequences of Autism Denial Can Be Far Reaching

  1. I says:

    It’s always the same. Articles based on the poor parents. Having my diagnosis ignored and being placed in a mainstream school as ruined my life. What about the ignored 30 years later? Does anyone care?

  2. Lisa says:

    This is so sad, I wish i could help but i cant and it breaks my heart knowing that the future of this child is going to be limited and the child wont reach there potential..they are like a flower just need some extra care and will have a chance at a more productive life….This child is a gift from God and is always in my prayers..I hope that one day and that day is not too late they will get the care and support they need…love this child always in my heart <3

  3. wanda says:

    Denial is so awful especially on the parent who is not in denial.My 27 year old son is Autistic and has a seizure disorder.I am divorced. I could not deal with my x-husbands behavior and take care of our son.
    I am currently in Domestics trying to get support for him.He would rather hire a lawyer and have the court believe there is nothing wrong with our son that I just want money.I do not have the money for an attorney so I’m not doing too well.
    He has always tried to make our son look “normal” when we would be out.This is impossible so we would have big meltdowns .
    He even was pretending to do sign language rather than say our son was Autistic.He would prefer him to be deaf.
    I share this to hopefully help others.

  4. Aimee says:

    My sister is stuck in denial about my nephews and having some spectrum of developmental behavioral possibly genetic based diagnosis. I don’t know if she is hiding the diagnosis from me or just does not believe or listen to the doctors. I would hate to think that because of her denial, lack of knowledge, selfishness or whatever her reasoning is that it could be detrimental to the outcome of my nephews. I wish there was more help on this issue out there, especially with all the increases in autism or autism spectrum disorders.

  5. Niamh says:

    I can identify with you Aimee.
    My sister appears not to notice what several people have mentioned to me – that her son is showing the signs of an autism spectrum disorder.
    I have just spent a week with them and it’s confirmed my fears.
    I can’t understand how she hasn’t noticed anything – is the denial that strong?
    Now I am faced with a very sad and in all likelihood, fraught conversation.

  6. martina says:

    It was very hard for me as a mother knowing that I did everything that I thought I should have been doing wasn’t enough. I blamed myself and my husband. While we went through the diagostic process. My husband took on kore at work. I too worked full time and pregnant with our 4th.

    Our son was diagnosed 2 weeks ago, he just turned 4. I feel that we are so late getting him early intervention.

    Any thoughts?

  7. orlando says:

    My sister in laws son was diagnosed with autism and adhd they were given prescription for him to take but my dumb ass sister in law said she wants to find a more natural way to help him… I jus Wana throat punch her bitch ass!!

  8. Momma Bear says:

    It’s never too late to get help for your child.
    The important thing is to do all that you can now. and I mean now.
    don’t wait any longer.

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Did You Know?

  • * In 1970, Autism affected 1 out of 10,000 children
  • * Autism now affects 1 out of 88 children
  • * Autism affects 1 in 54 boys
  • * 1.7 million Americans have some form of autism
  • * 4 out of 5 autistic children are boys

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