Autism Diagnosis. How can I fix it?
Looking for a Speech Therapist
Spotting early signs of autism
Temple Grandin worlds most famous and accomplished Autistic woman
Life with an Autism Diagnosis
As I have already explained in the first two parts of my article series on, 'Receiving and Accepting an Autism Diagnosis,' i.e. (1). Autism and the Denial of the Diagnosis, (2). Autism Diagnosis and coping with the anger i.e. after Denial and anger then on comes the bargaining stage. So when you as a parent get to the Bargaining Stage of an Autism Diagnosis you have mistakenly assumed that you are now totally together about this Autism issue.
‘Yes,’ I said, ‘I know it is Autism and that’s a serious condition. Yet on the other hand I have found out that Adam is considered to be in the mild to moderate range on the Autism Spectrum. So I mean even though I know that is classed as Autism maybe it’s not really full blown Autism as such! Well what I am trying to say here is that it’s not a total Autism diagnosis either and if I get my son all the right Early Intervention now a.s.a.p. then it doesn’t necessarily need to be a lifelong problem really does it?’
So the bargain that I made with myself was that I would be pro-active enough now for the next few years to get Adam every therapy that ever existed and then before we know it I will have this whole autism issue firmly under control.
Okay so I have faced it fully and it is autism but that doesn’t mean it has to be all that bad really does it? I mean like I know he has a Speech Delay but maybe by the time he is three he might have caught up? He’ll be talking away with us and we’ll be wondering what all the fuss was about anyway.
Right and yes I know they also say that toilet training can also be a big problem for autistic children but my son is so bright that that probably won’t be the case with him, will it? Maybe he pays no attention to us now but won’t a bit of Early Intervention sort that one out? Yeah by the time he is four he’ll be off to the local preschool and nobody will be any the wiser?
Now though when I started the bargaining stage I was also still working through the anger stage. I think I also convinced myself that the angrier I could be then the more this would benefit Adam. For many months I put my heart and soul into this battle. Also I just couldn’t understand how other parents around me often seemed so much more resigned to the situation than me. Of course now though I realize that this is because they’re at a different stage entirely of their child’s autism diagnosis acceptance and they have possibly already resolved their anger.
Everyone will choose their own individual bargaining tool. Some may in fact turn to God and think he’ll put in the work. Others pick an Early Intervention therapy program such as A.B.A. i.e. (Applied Behavioral Analysis), or perhaps the Son Rise Program or Intensive Auditory Integration Therapy or the GFCF Diet it really all depends on the individual child and just what actually works best in each individual case.
An excerpt from my book, Raindrop Window.
‘Mom, I was playing with my Sylvanian rabbits and Ethan just came into my room and grabbed their blue convertible car and turned it upside down. Then they all fell out all over the place.’
‘Really?’ I gasped Getting mildly excited. I jumped up from my swivel seat and rushed towards Naomi’s bedroom. If Ethan actually was pushing the Sylvanians car across the floor then that was definitely normal little boy playing (i.e. imaginative play to the uninitiated) and it could be a major breakthrough.
When I peeped in the door, all my hopes were quickly dashed. Ethan was just abandoning the Sylvanian car which he had already turned upside down. He had actually been spinning the blue car rapidly around the floor. That wasn’t the worst of it though because then he started doing something far more worrying. My heart thudded as I watched Ethan doing something new. One by one he carefully picked up all the discarded Sylvanian rabbits and then he slowly lined them all up in a neat straight line.
I knew by now that this was considered to be the classic symptom of Autism that I had kept telling myself Ethan didn’t do i.e. lining objects up in straight lines. Now Ethan got a Barbie doll, the Sylvanian car and a Toy story character and added them to the equation. Then just to finish me off completely he got up and stepped back from his momentous straight line.
Now from the corner of Naomi’s bedroom he swiveled his head to study the neat line from the corner of his eye. He was obviously happy with what he saw because then he stood up and flapped his clenched fists excitedly.
I on the other hand felt like somebody had just punched me in the stomach. ‘Oh my God,’ I sobbed, ‘it really is Autism. I just know it is now. That’s one of the most classic symptoms.’
Aaron looked at me as if it he definitely knew something too i.e. it was time to have me carted off. I had obviously just had some kind of a breakdown.
‘Ah you can’t say that Sarah just because he has picked up a few toys?’
‘Mom, I pick up toys all the time, do I have Autism as well?’ An alarmed Naomi added.
‘No,’ I sobbed again, ‘of course not, it’s just the specific way he has put them all in a straight line and stood back to study them.
Ethan had now moved over to the other side of his sister’s room and was turning around to observe his neat row from a new angle and again this seemed to greatly excite him.
‘Ah Sarah, wait and see what the Speech Therapist says tomorrow anyway. You can’t be jumping to conclusions just because Ethan likes walking around toys looking at them.’ Aaron said while still looking at me like I had just turned into the mad woman in the attic from Jane Eyre.
This time though Aaron’s words of consolation were just no good. The penny was definitely starting to drop. The blinkers had been thrown off and I just knew what the problem was here. It really was the dreaded unmentionable ‘A,’ word.
‘Mom, what will happen if Ethan really does have Autism?’ a wide eyed Naomi asked.
I looked at my daughter and tried to smile, ‘I don’t know pet, I just don’t know.’
End of excerpt from my book, Raindrop Window.
So after much deliberation on this issue I eventually got my son into an excellent Early Intervention class where they combine many different Early Intervention approaches. While Adam has made great progress here at some stage a light bulb flicked on i.e. the bloody Autism won’t go away completely no matter what progress is made.
Instead eventually I had to accept that Autism was with us to stay and that the whole future I had initially envisaged for my little man was now going to be completely and irrevocably changed. There is no easy way around this time of realization. It is just a plain painful time and there’s no escaping the grief that this transition often brings many parents.
Then on comes Stage 4 i.e. the grief stage and thankfully folks this is the eye of the storm i.e. once you can navigate through these choppy waters everything gets a lot calmer and at last you should be able to adjust to your new life and continue on. That’s all any of us can do at the end of the day. The last part of the Autism Diagnosis is Acceptance of the things that you just cannot change or fix.
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