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Autism Diagnosis, coping with your anger.
Autism Diagnosis - The Anger Stage
Autism Diagnosis and coping with the anger
As I explained in my previous Hub i.e. Autism and the denial of the diagnosis. The most common stages you may go through after receiving an autism diagnosis are often as follows.
I spent many months in the denial stage and this also suits the state services very well i.e. if you cannot accept that your child may need an Autism diagnosis then your child is not going to be a drain on their services either.
However When I could be fobbed off no more I went and paid for a private psychological assessment for my son. Soon after that I then realized that my son could have had a referral for an assessment a year sooner if my doctor had taken my concerns in anyway seriously.Then my grief immediately turned to intense, uncontrollable rage. The seething rage that had been welling up inside of me for so long now spewed out like Niagara falls.
Anyone who dared to cross my path and not help my son was in grave danger (i didn't actually threaten any physical violence though obviously). My anger spurned me into all out action. I was really thick with myself too for not just listening to my inner voice and insisting that Adam be diagnosed sooner.
Then my husband was the victim of my wrath for not taking me seriously enough and for just not being sorry enough about this oversight. God probably would have got it too if I had actually been sure that he was really there at all. Some unfortunate people tried to make me feel better by saying things like, ‘he is young yet and maybe he’ll grow out of it in a few years,’ they ended up being sent on their way with their heads hanging low in shame.
Little sample of my anger phase from my work in progress, my fiction novel Raindrop Window..
....I leave the Speech Therapists office and I feel like going for a very large vodka. What exactly is going on in this God forsaken country? Apparently there is a law that says children like Adam are entitled to an Early Intervention assessment but at the moment it is a better kept secret than when Brangelina are actually going to tie the knot.
As a mother I am starting to feel like I should be as versatile and innovative as Houdini just to be able to get my son a psychological assessment. From what I am experiencing now in Ireland it seems that just to access your child’s apparent basic human rights then you must first run a marathon barefoot over broken glass, then abstain from food and liquids for a hundred days, before finally spending two months crawling naked over burning coal and then just maybe if your child is one of the lucky ones and their exhausted, demented mother or father has finally managed to accumulate all the correct reports then you just might become privy to the highly coveted information on how to access help for your child. Christ it just gets better and better.
I do now though have another damning opinion that in fact my son does indeed have autism. It’s now becoming rapidly more obvious to me that I am so running out of excuses to believe that it isn’t. Maybe the time has come to start reconciling myself to the possibility that it is autism?
Okay so now if I am willing to concede that my son may possibly be on the spectrum provided firstly that it is very mild, so slight in fact that maybe with just a little bit of the right kind of therapy my son will be just fine. Maybe some auditory integration therapy might just do the trick, that’s probably just about all that he needs. I know he’s not bad because he obviously has so much potential that I am sure that this need only be a minor obstacle in the overall scheme of things.....
End of Excerpt from my fiction novel 'Raindrop Window.'
So back to reality again at this stage of mty own story my doctor refused to sign a form to get Adam a grant for some therapy. He said I was being too quick 'to label my child,' and he felt that I should wait for a multidisciplinary team diagnosis from the Irish Health Services first before just deciding (which took another 13 months to come) that it was in fact autism. Then I had what I now know was a good old Aspergers Syndrome meltdown (I wasn't aware I had Aspergers at that time).
Then the H.S.E.(Irish Health Service Executive) got the brunt of my anger for being up to their eyeballs in the Politics behind autism in Ireland. As well as for continually messing my son around and giving him no help at all whatsoever while they shuffled the mountains of paperwork from desk to desk and moved my son’s name to yet another waiting list. (Am…still angry there actually but in this instance my rage is more than justified).
The Irish Health Service are in fact still messing me and my son around and delivering nothing except the occasional brief letter many of which no doubt originate in their legal department or somewhere similar that they have for dealing.
For many months there was just no end in sight to the all consuming anger I felt every day. Many hours were spent bashing away furiously at my keyboard writing long, frustration fueled letters to anybody I could think of. Then I was on the local radio station giving out and I began my book, On the Spectrum. Most of all though, I was furious with autism for having the cheek to invade our family life.
I suspect that in my own mind I just thought that if I was angry enough about my sons autism then maybe I could make it go away. Obviously though I was just still deluding myself and grieving. I tried many different approaches during those early days. Until one day I stopped dead in my tracks and burst into tears.
Suddenly I realized that it didn’t it matter how worked up I got my son was still autistic and always would be. Yes there are some therapies that will help and a good Early Intervention program is vital but even with that help it still doesn't make the autism go away. If there was such a therapy though then I realized too that I would lose the son that I had come to love profoundly exactly as he is.
So now I was ready to move onto the bargaining stage. Now that I had conceded that autism was for life and that it is always going to be there no matter what. So that’s when I decided okay I’ll have to move the goal posts just a tad i.e. right so it is definitely autism but maybe it’ll still be okay if I handle it like this or if we can just sort out that, if I get him some of this therapy we will hardly know its autism soon will we? Then on came the bargaining stage….
Temple Grandin speaks about her experiences.
- "Ten Minutes with Temple" - An Autism Hangout "Beyond the Headlines&q
In the world of Autism, Temple Grandin is a legend. She has singularly contributed more to science's knowledge of autism than any other one individual. There...
Autistic people need a say too.
Aspergers explained by woman with the condition
Autistic Adults protest against lack of support from Autism Advocacy group.
Petition: Autism Care in Ireland
- Autism Care in Ireland - Petitions24.com
Petition to try to improve Ireland's Autism Services for children like my son Adam.
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