Autism – My First Story
Before He Was Born
I went out into the waiting room of the dental office I worked in. My scrubs were getting a little tight around my midsection as my baby bump expanded. I called the name child I was to see next and a boy stood up with his mom and follow me to the room I worked in.
When the boy sat down, his mom asked him if he would like to tell my about himself or if she should. He was capable of speaking but did not make eye contact with me. He told his mom she could tell me. His mom went on the explain to me that her son had autism, and explained some of his odd behaviours and things he may have trouble with.
As a mom-to-be my heart ached. I was 19 years old and knew nothing really about Autism. While I typed up him chart, I said a silent prayer that God would protect my unborn child from Autism. God have very different plans. Little did I know I would be getting the crash course in Autism very soon.
I’ll never forget the day we got the diagnosis.
The A-word. I felt like someone ripped my heart out of my chest and stepped on it. When I mother hears news like this the emotional pain is so intense it can causes her physical pain. My stomach turned and I fought having to excuse myself to get sick.
No, this couldn’t be happening to my son. I argued with the Development Specialist. I had so many reasons why this was not the case. “But he makes eye contact with me! And he loves cuddles and kisses! Children with Autism don’t do that!” The doctor looked at me sympathetically and tried to tell me, “He has lots of strengths and the spectrum is so large. Each child is different.” I was in denial, I demanded more test. In the end of course the test supported the doctor’s diagnosis. There was no escaping it, no matter how it looked to me, my son had Autism.
I asked the Doctor the day we went back and got the official diagnosis, “Well, but he’s going to be alright, right? I mean we’ll do the treatment and he’ll live a normal life.” She flat told me, “I can’t promise you that. Like I said before he has a lot of great strengths.”
I Kind Of Knew
While a part of me was in shock, another part of me wasn’t all that surprise either. I had a watched Jenny McCarthy on Oprah a few months early talking about her son’s battle with Autism. For some reason I felt compelled to go online that night an order her book. When it arrived and I started to read it, I could not put it down. While my son did not have the same medical issues that Jenny’s son Evan had some things she wrote were hitting close to home. But at the time I was still in denial. I called my mom and told her about what I read, and how everything hit so close to home. She agreed that it sounded similar, but we also agreed that he just couldn’t have autism. So this diagnosis came as a shock to them too.
The A-word as I called it consumed my life. My ex and I fought, he thought our son would just grow out of it and I had condemned him by “allowing” him to be labeled. I knew that if I didn’t allow him to be diagnosed he would not receive the services he needed to get better. He accused me of a lot of things, he thought I “allowed” him to be diagnosis so I could get more money from the government. He said I ruined his chances to ever get into a private school. So many hurtful things got thrown in my face. But I had to stand my ground.
My son needed help, and no matter what I was going to get it for him. The extra money that the government was giving me did not come even close to helping cover the cost of treatment or time I had to take off of work to get him said treatment. So I it wasn’t for the money that I allowed them to diagnosis him. It was for the chance to get treatment to help him out of his own little world into ours. I can see now looking back, my son’s dad was just as scared as was. Once we got going with therapies, he came on board for most of them.
Research Consumed Me
I spend many hours searching online, looking for hope. Dishes piled up, so did the laundry, but they were not important. Finding the answer to help my child was. I worked all day, came home, took care of my son, and once he was in bed I was back online. I needed sleep, but I thought, I’ll sleep when I’m dead, my son needs me to figure out something!
One of the purposes of this blog is to provide parents with information on alternative therapies available out their for their child with autism, and our experiences with them. I hope that I can help navigate parents to things quickly so they can decide if it’s right for their child. So they can spend less time searching and more time helping their child.
This Blogs Take Away
The important thing to remember is, “If you met one person with autism, you have met one person with autism.” Each child is so different, so if one therapy does nothing for your child, DON’T GIVE UP! That’s just not the right one for your child, it doesn’t mean another treatment won’t work. It is all about trial and error.