Children don’t come with handbooks. Parenting can involve a lot of trial and error. That can create a lot of anxiety, a situation that only compounds if a child receives a diagnosis of having one of the developmental issues encompassed by the autistic spectrum.

Such determinations can leave Alabama parents feeling at a loss, unaware of what they can or should do. On the positive side, federal laws exist meant to ensure that every child receives a free and appropriate public education. Fighting for your rights as established in those laws can be a challenge. In the face of such difficulties, it’s helpful to work with an attorney skilled in this area of practice.

Work begins early

Certain laws outline expectations for delivery of services for students as they work their way through their school years. Depending on the situation, these might include parents and educators creating and managing individualized education plans for a child. But symptoms of developmental issues can begin to show long before the start of school.

Here again, federal grants are available to provide early intervention programs. These can start even before a child turns three. Such help might not come directly from the local school district, but resources do exist for finding possible providers.

Congress and state lawmakers enact these kinds of laws because they recognize there is need for them and that the need is expanding. While diagnoses of different types of autism reach back decades, greater understanding has led to a change in how they are approached.

What used to be discussed as separate conditions are now identified as autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The disorders relate to social, behavioral and communication development and seriousness can range anywhere from mild to severe. And though most ASD diagnoses occur after age four, experts now can deliver reliable diagnoses as early as the age of two.

The point to remember is that, as a parent, you are an advocate for your child. And where the need for developmental help is apparent, federal law offers you means to ensure receipt of that help when you know your rights.