Nothing can suck the cash out of wallet faster than the word "Autism." There a lot of scams out there. There was one treatment that cost $5,000 for which you were given activities that you could have gotten from a $13 sensory integration book and a book of $5 scratch and sniff stickers. Though Autistics will need lifelong care, many can work, marry, and lead normal lives. There are many geniuses as well, but they might have problems with sensory pain that causes outbursts. You don't know the future of your child. It's still open.
Use free school resources like early intervention classes. Use the school speech therapist. We have to move because the school cannot provide the speech therapy that my child needs.
Aba/dtt can be expensive but you can do matching games on your own and add that to a school based play intervention with speech therapy. You can mix this with other free and low cost therapies. You can make your own flash cards by searching with Google. Laminate the cards for wear and tear.
While there are some relatives I would not let near my child, I do let my family help. If grandma is healthy, loving and can handle your child, you could have grandmother trained to do therapy at home. You might want to pay a little if you can. Books like Engaging Autism can be a place to start.
There are inspirational interviews with famous Temple Grandin on www.npr.com for free. Just search her name.
Avoid surfing the Internet too much. There is a lot of misinformation on the web. Nothing you did or didn't do caused your child's autism. You are not to blame.
Use your library before deciding which books go into your home. Some books are by parents whose children really had much milder autism than they realized and some are very negative.
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