Wednesday, March 31, 2010
The Official Diagnosis
We went in today for our second assessment session. There was a Psychologist, Paediatrician, and another two professionals whose qualifications I didn't happen to remember. We were split up, hubby took the baby and sat with the peadie and someone else behind a screen. My boy and I went into a room with the psych and the other person. There were a variety of toys and items about, and all that was required was to see how he would react/investigate/explore/respond to these things and to some prompts that the staff gave him. After this, we went into another room altogether, where we spoke with the paedie about a whole lot of other things, including babyhood, concerns, responses to different situations, etc. Then all the staff excused themselves, and went to another room to collate their findings. They said they'd be gone about 15 minutes. They were back much sooner than that. Their findings were unanimous, and beyond doubt.
My boy has Autism.
It's funny....I have already been through the grieving and tears and emotional mess of finding out that my son is not developing as normal toddlers should. I've already been through the cycle of denial, anger, depression, sadness, and finally accepted that things are the way they are. It is ok. He is ok, and he will be ok. And so will we. But to have that final label ....a name applied in all its certainty...'this is what my boy has'.... It's another step in that grieving again.
So I am sad today. I am sad, but ok. I am sad, but relieved. I can close this chapter here, and start another one straight away. The process of finding out what was going on is over. Took months. Almost a year. But it's over. Now begins the process of working to help him in the areas that need it. This will be the longest journey. One that doesn't end I think. At least it seems that way for now.
So what has changed? Well, not much. As I've mentioned in previous posts, regardless of the outcome of this assessment, his needs remain the same. But now I know that this stuff is for life. He is not likely to just 'grow out of it'. How does that bode for his future? I have no clue. I can't bear to think about it right now. The one good thing that has come of this, if anything at all, is that now we can access the funding available for this. I guess the other good thing is that we have got onto this while he is still very young....2 1/2. The brain at this age is very 'plastic' ...thats the term the pro's have all been using. I'm pretty sure that all it means is that this is an age where lots and lots and lots of learning takes place, where patterns are set down for life...so it is a good age to apply therapy for all the things he needs help with. He should absorb it all alot more readily than if he were older.
Apart from all that, life continues. My little man is still my little mr man. My family is safe and healthy, and for that I am incredibly grateful. But maybe later I will cry.