Raising a child with autism is a process that requires patience, resilience, and an information-seeking mindset. But as rewarding as the journey can be, an autism diagnosis can alter the family dynamic and impact each family member in many ways.
My guest today, Dr. Taylor Day, is a licensed psychologist who specializes in supporting autistic children and their families with diagnostic evaluations, therapy, and parent coaching. But she also knows firsthand the impacts of growing up with an autistic sibling.
Her compassion and understanding of her family’s situation led her to a place where she could identify the gaps in the care of all family members. Her “whole family approach” uses a comprehensive model of care, including evidence-based interventions for autistic children and their siblings, and coaches parents to become more aware of their thoughts and feelings.
She explains the importance of filling our own cups before trying to pour out of them empty so that we can better model behavior and set boundaries for all of the children in the family.
In this conversation, Dr. Day shares invaluable advice on dealing with the grief of a difficult medical diagnosis, following your gut as a parent when dealing with teams of doctors, dealing with the overwhelm of caring for the whole family, and much more.
Key Takeaways with Dr. Taylor Day
- How families can support autistic children through evaluations & interventions.
- Acknowledging the needs of the siblings of a sick child.
- How the “whole family approach” model of care works.
- The power of listening as a way to show support.
- Tips for parents to deal with overwhelm.
- Managing the grief, shame, anger, or denial that accompanies a difficult diagnosis.
- Following your gut instincts as a parent, and requesting second opinions.
- Why spending quality time with the siblings matters more than quantity.
- Setting boundaries for children in the home (including neurodivergent children).
Dr. Taylor Day Tweetables
- “There was a gap in our field; a lot of services are so focused on the child that they forget about the family unit surrounding that child. Autism doesn’t just affect your child, it affects the entire family.” – Dr. Taylor Day
- “Your gut instincts are often spot-on. So if you’re not feeling heard, or feeling like they didn’t get the full picture of your child, please get a second opinion.” – Dr. Taylor Day
- “For you to have the capacity to take care of your family, you have to be taking care of yourself first. If you don’t know how to go inward and process through it, it’s going to be really hard for you to model it for your children.” – Dr. Taylor Day
- “The idea of ‘listening to understand’ is that you’re not trying to respond or fix, or give them a solution or teach them something; you simply are being present in the moment with them and their feelings.” – Dr. Taylor Day
- Follow Dr. Taylor Day on Instagram, TikTok or LinkedIn
- Dr. Taylor Day’s Podcast: Evolve
- Dr. Taylor Day’s Facebook community for autism parents
- Book a consult call for concierge autism assessment + therapy services
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