So yesterday was D Day. And we got what we were expecting:
Official diagnosis: Autism.
I’m now amazed at how easy it was to hear. No, it wasn’t easy to hear, but in the moment it wasn’t DEVESTATING. It was a jolt for both of us, kinda like a zing through our bodies, like a quick wave of anxiety but then gone.
The whole diagnostic experience was positive actually. The Occupational Therapist (OT), Speech and Language Pathologist (SLP) and Developmental Therapist (DT) that examined Bubba were SUPER nice and throughly enjoyed our special lil man (completely genuine by the way, either that or they’re really really good actors). The doc was nice too. We were given a lot of suggestions, such as getting him into Occupational Therapy and Developmental Therapy as soon as possible, possibly starting PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) to help him build muliple word sentences outside of scripts, and using Social Stories to help him deal with things like hockey and baseball games (social stories are hand-written picture books about the experience, the idea being he reads them before going to know what to expect).
So now we have our answer, and a direction to go.
And we’re really, really ok. Big A has a great attitude about the whole thing, really positive, and it helps me to not dwell, not wallow. I’m not saying that it won’t get to me now and then, of course it will. But I can forever look back and know that on the day we found out, I was ok.
We are committing ourselves to staying positive, and in that spirit, Big A decided that we are not going to publicly broadcast Bub’s diagnosis on facebook. I am in total agreement with his reasons: he wants us to be able to control how it is talked about. We are completely willing to talk about it, it IS NOT A SECRET and WE ARE NOT ASHAMED. But anything we can do to minimize negative reactions from other people, we will do. We realize that we’re gonna hear it anyway, but the point is letting it “all hang out there” is inviting reactions and comments that will only bring us down. Big A says he wants the world to see Bubba, not Autism. Our child is not a label first. And he feels that putting it out there on facebook would make it a permantent public record, not just a piece of Bub’s puzzle. Of course we realize that autism will always be a part of Bubba, but it’s only a part and will be in flux his entire life. We will work to minimize the effect it has on his life, therefore we don’t want it to be the first thing others associate with him. In that spirit, regular readers of this blog (all what, 2 or 3 of you? lol) will notice names have been changed. I’m now completely going with nicknames, to keep anything I say on this blog from becoming a permanent part of Bub’s history. Again, not hiding anything, but this blog is to help me deal, not to effect him.
So here we go folks, we’re in for the ride of our lives!