This is a post many weeks in the making. In this time I’ve felt angry, scared, alone, depressed, and finally, acceptance. Two weeks ago, I joined a club I never asked to be a part of. Two weeks ago my child was diagnosed “on the spectrum.”
A part of me has always known. At 11 months he started rocking in his seat. At 2 years, he still wasn’t talking much. At 3, he was talking even less and jumping when he was excited. At first I was in denial. After all, big brother talked early, walked early, did absolutely everything ahead of schedule. And it wasn’t fair to judge one child on the actions of another.
Just before his third birthday, the preschool teacher approached me. The teacher was worried that he wasn’t progressing normally. At this point I got angry. How dare she question my child. He could count to 20! He was obviously not stupid! But I brought him to see the special education teachers anyway. They evaluated him for hours; determined he had speech delay; and setup an IEP for speech therapy. I thought I had my answers and that everything would get better from there.
Half way through the year and my child wasn’t progressing. She told me I should follow up with the pediatrician. Again I knew what she was thinking without her saying it. But I still couldn’t think it myself. Finally I made an appointment with the doctor. More half answers. “We think he has autism, but he needs to see this person.” We bring him to the therapist. Again, “We think he has autism but he needs to see a child psychologist.” There he receives 2 hours of testing, and 6 weeks of evaluation. Then and only then do we get a definitive answer. *Autism Spectrum Disorder with Severe Language Development Delay*
At this point I became depressed. How could I raise 2 children with special needs? I felt like I was not enough. There was no possible way that I can handle this. But, ever so quietly, I heard a small voice say “you already have.”
My son may have been recently diagnosed with autism. But this has always been the way that he is. He is the same person I know and love. And a diagnosis doesn’t change that. I can be enough, because I have always been enough. I am his rock. He has always looked to me. I will always be enough.
Things have changed for the better. We now have a plan, we have an IEP that will support all of his needs. We have avenues open to us that we didn’t have before. He will succeed. He is brilliant. He is beautiful.
If you’re in the same boat. If you found this post on google. You are not alone. You have support.
I am a new person. I am a spectrum mom.