Archived from “My Lil Guy” (my previous blog)
This is my oldest son (on the web I call him Sir Q) and I’ve decided to share some of the journey his life is taking us on.
I’ve debated about whether I wanted to talk about this on my blog, since it’s a somewhat personal topic and I wasn’t sure if I wanted my blog to be only about celebrations, parties and fun stuff or if I wanted to have it be more of a reflection of where I am in life right now. I’ve decided to go with the latter because not everyday is a party and sometimes life requires us to do things we don’t consider fun, but I do believe each day is a gift and when we take the time to look, there is something to celebrate everyday.
This week I had an appointment to take my oldest (Sir Q) to see a psychiatrist. I went into the appointment with a lot of mixed feelings. You see we believed that most likely he has Asperger’s Syndrome, which is part of the autism spectrum. Since he was about 3 years old, we have been addressing various concerns with his development. Each of these concerns alone wouldn’t have brought us to this point but as I started researching I found that all of these combined fit the description of Asperger’s or high functioning autism. He has been in both speech and occupational therapy for about a year but at his last well check (Sept. 2010) his pediatrician decided to refer us to a psychiatrist and developmental pediatrician. Due to the offices rescheduling on us several times, we finally got in to see the psychiatrist this week. We are still waiting on the developmental pediatrician.
While I was prepared for his diagnosis, I couldn’t help but be nervous about the appointment. Over all it was a strange experience and very different from his other evaluations. The doctor asked me a ton of questions that I knew were part of the diagnostic criteria for autism. They didn’t take any time to try to interact with him and to be honest, it felt like I could have left him at home and it wouldn‘t have made a difference. When they asked me to let him play while we stepped into another office, I started to wonder if maybe they had hidden cameras in the room so that they could observe him. That was not the case and instead they sat me down, looked me in the face and told me “It’s Autism.” Then they handed me an article about children with autism from some website and asked me if I had any questions. I probably looked a bit dumbfounded to them but it wasn’t because of the diagnosis. I just couldn’t believe that was it. They could make that sure of a statement without even interacting with him? I asked a few questions about what I would need to do to talk to the school before he starts in the fall but other than that I just wanted to go get him and get out of there.
Luckily they didn’t want to put him on any meds (which I would have said no to) but they did remind me as I left that if I did begin to see signs of ADHD or aggression that I could come back and get some. I’m not sure how normal this experience was for parents looking into diagnosis but it is definatly going down in the books as something I would prefer not to do again.
I’ve been able to talk to both his occupational and speech therapists since the visit and while both of them were surprised that they didn’t spend anytime with him before they gave a diagnosis, they both feel having the diagnosis is a step in the right direction. I’m truly grateful for both of his therapists and everyone who has been supportive enough to take time to get to know him so that we, as a team, can give him all the tools he needs.
As we continue on this journey, this experience has reminded me that I am going to need to be strong and stand up for my son. Which can seem overwhelming, since I’ve never been very good at standing up to people. I do have faith though that I am the right woman for the job because I trust that God gave me this beautiful boy because He knows me better than I do.