When my son was diagnosed, I acknowledged and voiced my sense of loss. But each time I heard ‘He’s still the same little boy,’ I felt more disloyal, like I was betraying my son by expressing sadness. So I stopped, and coped instead by learning all I could about autism, and throwing myself into his therapy.
2) Be pro-active, but let yourself grieve
Nearly two years later, a counsellor encouraged me not just to voice my grief, but to cry. After braving the pain, I did feel lighter and oddly not sad any more. So I would encourage you to go to that dark, painful place, if you need to, and to know that your sadness is not a reflection of your love for your child.