The phone call that we were waiting for came yesterday.
It was the paediatrician confirming a diagnosis of autistic spectrum disorder for our little boy.
I’d expected it but I was ready for a fight if it didn’t happen.
Now it has happened and I have all these emotions going on.
One is sadness, but not because of the diagnosis. I’ve known there was something different about S from birth and I suspected autism when he was a toddler. No, the sadness is because I know that there are judgemental people in the world and I can’t protect him from their ignorance and prejudice.
But I can make sure that he is equipped, as best he can be, to cope with it.
This diagnosis will mean that he gets all the support that he needs. Because he has an early diagnosis this will give him the best possible foundation to be able to build coping skills in order to thrive in an overwhelming world.
I don’t see autism as being a label. I see it as being the reason – an explanation.
S will come to us one day and ask ‘Why am I different?’
We can tell truthfully tell him why and that he is not the only one – there are millions of amazing people just like him. A group of people who are different but by no means less.
I have read so many blog posts and tweets from parents who are struggling with the diagnosis process and unsympathetic schools. My heart goes out to them, but I have to speak as we find it and our experience has been 100% positive from word go. All the therapists, doctors and teachers have been so supportive. We have so much to be thankful for and we’re are very grateful. It’s half the battle won when people are on your side.
At the moment, the diagnosis is for us in order to help him get the best out of life. It will be up to S what he does with it when he’s older. I expect him to fight it and try to fit in but that’s all part of the acceptance process. You can try as hard as you like to fit in and even succeed in pulling it off to the outside world but you can never fool yourself.
My hope is that he will reach his full potential. He is a bright boy with his strength being in numeracy.
The world is full of quirky people. They give. They inspire. They light up the world.
My children have taught me different things but all three have reminded me how good it feels to laugh. S has a laugh that comes from his soul. It’s infectious, it’s therapeutic. It makes up for the hours spent counting to ten while he whirls through his meltdown. A human Tasmanian Devil if they can be cute.
It will take me a while to process it all but I’ll get there.
Meanwhile I stand easy. There is no need to fight. Mama don’t need to go make noise. It’s done and we know exactly where we stand.
So far, my children (and step-children) have proved to be creative. They entertain. They create beautiful images of moments in time. They make people feel good about themselves. They light up the world by giving.
We’ve yet to see how this little boy’s light will effect the world but with autism, anything is possible.
He lights up our lives with his energy, his joy, his laughter.
We all shine on
Like the moon and the stars and the sun ~ John Lennon