Getting your child diagnosed with Austism/ASD
If you are a parent with a child with autism, you will probably remember the exact moment you were told that diagnosis.
What happened next??? Did your walls cave in on you? Did you burst into tears? Or did you breathe a sigh of relief?
In my case, the latter was the case – I really did breathe a sigh of relief. Not that I was happy with the new-found fact that my son has Aspergers Syndrome, but by the time we got the diagnosis we pretty well knew it anyway. And don’t get me wrong – I had been through a long process to get where I was that day.
The Early “Daze”
My boy was just 2 yrs old when my second son was born. He started ‘acting out’ around then by throwing ridiculous tantrums that went on forever (it felt like), and would really melt down at the drop of a hat. This progressed over the next few years to the point my already routine-dependant day got positively military. I had figured out that we had to explain everything that was happening before it happened, and really stick to what we knew worked.
His bubbly personality was still evident although his ability to communicate seemed to lessen – not that he didn’t have words – his vocabulary was excellent, but he stopped looking me in the eye, and seemed to go off into his own world a lot. If someone annoyed him, he would have no issues in pushing or hitting that child, which caused no end of angst – and embarrassment. He didn’t have any ‘volume control’ on his voice, and neither did he really seem to care if he hurt or upset someone else.
Being a little boy interested in cars, I used to think it was really cute how he would play with them all for hours on end. I didn’t pay much attention to the fact that all he used to really do with them was line them all up – there was no imaginative play with the cars at all. And look out if anyone touched those cars all lined up – for a joke when he wasn’t looking, I used to turn a couple around so one car was facing the wrong way – every single time he would come back, notice it straight away, and correct it!! If he saw me doing it I was in serious trouble!!
By the time he was 4 yrs old, I really was struggling – his moods were worse and I couldn’t use the excuse that it was “just him going through the terrible-2s”. I wasn’t coping very well because it was everyday that he was difficult, and I barely got a chance to collect my own self in between meltdowns. A couple of people had kind of mentioned “the A-word” but I laughed at them and totally denied the possibility that my boy could have Autism. One daycare who only had him for a couple of hours a week told me they thought something might be ‘wrong’ with his development…I disagreed so I took him out of that place in disgust that they could think such a thing!
Then one day I decided to start investigating that possibility. I was getting to the point where I was happy if for an explanation why my son was ‘different’ to the others. Just reading the medical definition of Aspergers really didn’t help me understand it. When reading things online from other parents and websites I slowly came to the realisation that he was on the Autism Spectrum, and that it wasn’t such a bad thing.
Reaching this attitude can be both a long and slow process, in fact, I still am dealing with it. But what I have found is that Autism isn’t as ‘bad’ as I thought in the beginning. Our kids are extra special, and so are their families. You wouldn’t have been given this child if you weren’t strong enough to deal with the challenges we face – did you get that?…You, too, are special and strong – there is no way you would have been given something in your life that you couldn’t cope with.
Please always remember that – use it as a mantra, in your own words for those days when you find it hard to make it through – You are special. Read it again..
- You Are Special-