I have been at war with myself for a long time whether or not to write this post. However, I have come to the realization that posting would do more good than anything else. Below you will see multiple images of one of my sons. He is a fraternal twin. He is the eldest of the twins. He is Autistic. That latter three-word phrase has taken me a long time to appreciate and accept. I did not know how to deal with this reality for a long time. While this diagnosis is difficult for me to handle, lest we forget what is at the heart of the diagnosis, but a little boy who has begun life with a tremendous obstacle in front of him.
The eventual diagnosis stemmed from a realization that our son was not reaching certain milestones in development. Primarily our concern centered on a lack of vocabulary, both quantity and quality of which were/are deficient. Since drawing conclusions from comparisons is not the best measure of development, we chose to have him evaluated. After a myriad of evaluations it was determined he is ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). As shocking as this was for our family, the overwhelming feeling of uncertainty of what was to come was, at least in my case, more frightening. Fortunately, we have a great team of providers who helped in explaining much of the process and expectations, but there has certainly been a large learning curve.
Our son has many therapists and several sessions with more being added from time to time. We have learned so much from our boy and this experience. We now have a proficient understanding of what the jungle of acronyms ABA, EI, CPSE, OT, and PT mean and where and when they are appropriate. But beyond that we learn from him directly in observing his interactions with his siblings and his environment. He is expected to enter a center based program shortly which will be another enormous step for all of us. God willing it will be a positive experience which will only help to improve and expedite his development.
Sometimes it can all be overwhelming for everyone, but when this happens I remind myself of a comment made by one of his therapists. She said, and I am paraphrasing, what if he is the “normal” one and we are the outliers? I think about that a lot, as his perception of the world must be so different than mine. How amazing must that ability be?
Additionally, my wife reminds me of a belief she has, God does not give you anything you cannot handle. To him I say, thank you for sending us our extra special boy.
I don’t care to come off all preachy. However, for families apprehensive or scared of having their child evaluated, think about the unknown. You may be doing your child a disservice by not providing them the opportunity to receive services they may benefit from. If it is not through the same services we sought, linked here, please do it through whatever services are available to you.
As for our little guy, we will strap in and enjoy the long road ahead and all that it will bring.