Once we did get diagnosed we were fortunate enough to already have the at home therapies in place. His speech therapist is the only original therapist. We must have fired at least 5 or 6 between PT and OT's! LOL People were telling us that they knew sensory processing and they did not, so if we saw that and didn't feel comfortable, I was calling the home health agency and telling them we wanted someone else! Now, we have PT and speech at home and OT at a facility, but he can handle that now.
The one thing that I have always tried to do is engage my son as though I understood him, even when he could not communicate, and I got down on the floor and played with him and still do to this day. As far as being available for my wife and kids, my situation was perfect because I was un-employed. Not fun for me as far as career movement goes or good on our pocket book, but I was available for all the good and bad times. My son has changed dramatically over the past 3 years. He turns 5 this summer, but his therapies have worked. He can talk now. He still has garbled language, but that can be worked on. Now, we play cars and action figures and he makes the cars and guys talk. Our two other kids who are older, also play with him and interact with him.
I think that the biggest factor is his progress has been the approach we have all taken with him and that has been to include him as much as possible in our play, our conversations, etc. We all encourage him, but understand that he will have his meltdowns, struggles, etc. and we encourage patience. Patience, Love and engagement, I think are the three most important things in helping a child to progress.
For a long time, I would have to just take about 30 minutes per week to myself and disappear into the bedroom and just let out my emotions, because it would just build up. Same with my wife. Now, even though he still has certain struggles that are different, I hang on to the smiles, the laughter, the affections he sometimes shows and use it to get me through the more difficult times he has.
What do you find is most helpful with your son or daughter? Do you have any tips that you would like to tell others about?