I Just Learned My Child Has Autism — Now What?

with Seema Motwani, OTR/L and Gina G. Baldi, MEd

I Just Learned My Child Has Autism — Now What?

Episode 27, Season 2 | April 13, 2022

Show Notes

The CDC and National Health Statistics Reports estimate that there is a 1-2% chance of a child being diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and the rates for boys are higher than that for girls. So, if your child has just been diagnosed with autism, you are not alone. In today’s podcast episode, CHC experts Seema Motwani, Occupational Therapist and Gina Baldi, Parent Trainer in our Early Support Program for Autism (ESPA) tell us where to turn for services, therapies and support. Best of all, they remind us that an autism diagnosis doesn’t change who our child is or what they’re capable of. (Hint: anything).

Guest Info
Seema Motwani headshot

Seema has been a pediatric occupational therapist since 2013. Upon graduating from California State University, Dominguez Hills with her Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy, she has immersed herself in the pediatric world. Her background includes working with children at a sensory clinic, home and school based environments, with children of all ages and diagnoses. She treats each child as an individual, finding motivating and exciting play activities while simultaneously challenging them to grow and improve.

Gina Baldi headshot

Gina has over sixteen years of experience working with children and their families. Prior to joining Children’s Health Council, she was the Director of Early Intervention at Pacific Autism Center for Education (PACE) and Area Director for Easter Seals Bay Area – Autism Program. Gina spent much of her time training and empowering parents to support their child’s skill development on all levels. She also trained and supported teams of developmental therapists, behavioral interventionists and teachers to develop successful programs for children on the Autism Spectrum. Gina has worked extensively coordinating services with several agencies and organizations in the Bay Area. She was thrilled to join the team at CHC to continue to offer parent training through ESPA. Gina grew up in St. Louis, Missouri and is still debating which baseball team to root for – Giants or Cardinals. When not working, Gina enjoys family, hiking and exploring San Francisco.


Learn more about CHC’s Clinical Services 

Learn more about Evaluations

From Seema & Gina:

Parents Helping Parents

Early Language Development Articles – Helpful Information and Tips for Parents

Some parents have found helpful tips on the following on-line free trainings: The first free training videos is at Profectum Foundation. Once you enter the site, select the free Parent Toolbox. These videos are based on Floortime.

Another free online training option is UC Davis MIND Institute’s Adept training – specific to parents. ADEPT Training | Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities | UC Davis MIND Institute.

You can also search videos on Youtube for Pivotal Responsive Therapy (PRT), Floortime and Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) and find some ideas.

Naturalistic Developmental Behavioral Interventions: Empirically Validated Treatments for Autism Spectrum Disorder (PDF)

From CHC’s Resource Library:


Explaining an Autism Diagnosis to Your Child

Finding Stability After an Autism Diagnosis

Parenting a Neurodivergent Child Is Hard! Self-Compassion Is the Antidote to Stress and Pain

Autistic Girls’ Use of Language May Mask Social Difficulties

What is a Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician?

Autism Spectrum Disorder: Engaging in a Social World

With Handout:

Autism Spectrum Disorder: Learn the Signs and Symptoms

Checklist: Autism Spectrum Disorders Symptoms and Signs 

Self Evaluation Checklist for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder


Books with Characters on the Autism Spectrum

Autism: What Does It Mean to Me? Workbook for Children and Youth

Pediatric Neurologist Writes Book to Help Children Understand Autism

The Power of Different: The Link Between Disorder and Genius

In ‘We’re Not Broken,’ Author Eric Garcia Takes On Myths About Autism

Community Education

Navigating Autism Services