June 05, 2013

Diagnosis: confirmed

There is a neatly stapled pile of papers in my house tonight. They confirm my son has special needs, and that he will always have them. That he is not like other kids and never will be. That my life will present many more challenges than the average parent's.

Today's mail contained the thing I have been waiting 6 years to receive: F-Man's Diagnostic Assessment Report.

With that piece of paper comes an official label and as we know, people love labels. E specially those who decide if you should get any help.   His label is Aspergers, which from July 1 will be known as Autism Spectrum Disorder when DSM5 kicks in.  He met every single criteria, not just "must meet two of 5". High achiever.

Its weird, seeing in writing that professionals recognise in him what I have for years.  A verbal confirmation is one thing: It's a tick in a checkbox, a chance to flick the doubting husband the metaphorical Bird, and a surprising sense of relief.A 12 page report with observations of behaviour is something entirely different. It's a shock to read about his functional difficulties & how clearly he struggles with communication and social skills.

I have spent countless hours over those 6 years wondering "well maybe it's not anything serious, maybe it's just (insert random excuse for behaviour)" while at the same time being certain that he had Aspergers. Second-guessing myself for 6 years. That's a lot of not trusting my intuition. I hope I have finally learnt that lesson, for my intuition has turned out to be right every single time, but I rarely listened to it.  I'm none too bright sometimes.

Now we have it written in unequivocal black and white. No more arguing-with-self about it.  Our child has Autism.

There is a neatly stapled pile of papers in my house tonight, which will allow our child access to services he has needed his entire life.

Let's get this show on the road.


Jacqui said...

I hear ya ..I waited 13 years to get our Label :-(
part of me was relieved, part of me sad, part of me ashamed, but most of me was thankful that it wasn't just me, who knew her child was different, not just because I didn't discipline him enough or because I am a single mum, or that his difficulties were just not "that serious"
that was 6 months ago..... we got asked to leave school and have just started homeschooling, the journey continues......

Tawanda said...

How awful that he was asked to leave! In the long run, it will probably be the best thing to happen for him, but that is a crap attitude from the school.

It's so easy to think that you are just making it up and there is nothing really wrong. I did it with my own health too. Just for once I'd like to find a diagnosis for something via a blood test!