When the diagnosis came down the pipe and we got the brand-new shiny label stuck on our child's forehead we went looking for answers to the squillions of questions that were rampaging through our minds.
I don't think I stopped reading or researching once we'd got our heads around the meaning behind the label; books and news articles were recommended from friends and chased up, diets and vitamin supplements researched then discussed with doctors, biographies and autobiographies read and discussed at length.
Heck, I even (briefly) researched freakazoid Bettelheim and his 'refrigerator mother' concept just to have information to fight the ignorance still lingering today which is his destructive legacy to those on the Spectrum.
The parents at early intervention would flock together, we'd found a safe place where we could unload about our battles with behaviours and stims, the latest goal reached or newest proposed theory/therapy.
We swapped tales of the Spectrum with each other with a momentary loss of the weight on our shoulders as we knew we all really got where we were all coming from, we all understood the path we were all treading.
Information and knowledge is often the only weapon we have against the difficulties the Spectrum throws up, ignorant strangers and even ignorant medical professionals.
I have never felt the need to explain or justify myself with other parents as, like the old saying, we do walk a mile in each others' shoes every day.
Recognising the emergence of new stims/behaviours is just a tiny thing but it helps to have read/researched it or heard about it from others in a support group or just in conversation.
It's just the tiny things that help make our lives a little more clearer, knowing what could be around the corner, finding a friendly ear to get the reassurance that, yes, the sun will come up again tomorrow and there is still hope in our future.