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About an Autism Diagnosis: Grieving, being heartbroken and then accepting it.
So far I’ve talked solely about my experience of coming to terms with my son’s autism diagnosis. I haven’t yet mentioned the fact that Adam does in fact have a father who is also my husband. Undoubtedly this whole coming to terms with autism saga is not easy on any relationship and unfortunately there are also many couples out there who never make it through this difficult time and do in fact crack under the pressure and end up going their separate ways.
It was only when I got to the grief stage that I started to really wonder how my husband was feeling about having an autistic son as up to that point he had stayed mostly ominously silent about the whole process. So much so that I was wondering is he getting this and how can he not be reacting more to this saga? Then one day out of the blue it was suddenly made very clear to me that my husband was in fact going through his own trauma about our son having autism.
When I entered the grief stage I was just not able to hold back the torrents of tears that engulfed me. It was like a mega Irish funeral of mammoth proportions that went on for weeks. Why my son? He is so goddamn handsome and everyone had been continually telling us that we were the perfect gentleman’s family a daughter and a now a son. Then along came Autism and blew that idyllic take out the window.
Then one day my other half came home from work only to find me swollen eyed and dejected once again. If I had been hoping for a hug or a sympathetic word in my ear today was not the day that I was going to get it.
‘Why are you crying now he asked me?’
I just looked at him and wondered if he had forgotten he had an autistic son?
‘Adam has autism and I can’t fix it!’ I sobbed yet again.
‘But I thought this was a great adventure for you, an autistic son, a new cause on your hands and aren’t you just after finding out you have Aspergers Syndrome too? I thought you were delighted with your new life and all the great writing material you now have?’
‘Don’t be so stupid,’ I snapped back, ‘I am only trying to make the best of a bad situation, it’s the only way I can keep myself sane right now it is my way of coping.’
‘I think its time you snapped out of it now. You have a daughter too you know or have you forgotten?’
‘Of course I haven’t, why are you being so nasty when I am just doing my best?’
Soon after my husband slammed the back door as he stormed out to his man cave in the garden and it was only then that the realization hit me like a sledgehammer.
He’s at the anger stage. All this talk about he being fine and it’s not the end of the world that our son has autism was him going through the denial stage, then the bargaining stage and now he’s at the anger stage.
Sure enough this phase of anger was followed by grief which lasted quite a while but then thankfully he does now seem to have moved onto the acceptance stage too. So thankfully our family is bruised but still intact.
So now we like to think we are all at the Acceptance stage. It still doesn’t always come easily and some days I think I am so totally there and yet other days I still think that I may never totally accept this.
Of course unlike many my own diagnosis of Aspergers Syndrome did help me a lot. It gave me the realization that me and my son had similar brains and if I think about some things in an unusual manner then it is likely to be similar to how he is thinking. So I like to think anyway. At other times I am just as sure that I have no clue what is going on inside my sons head and I yearn to know what’s really going on in there and will he ever really be able to tell me?
However, sometimes my own autistic brain is the biggest barrier to helping my son. I did a course called the Hanen program where I was supposed to teach my son play skills which were to lead on to early communication skills. My thoughts during this course were, I never learned these skills myself as a child so how can I now effectively teach them to my son?
Sometimes I think that somebody should consider a revised manual for this scenario because let’s face it is now recognized that there is a definite genetic component to autism.So now there are also a huge number of Aspergers/High Functioning Autism parents out there who are just not aware of that they too are on the spectrum. Other days I am happy and contented with my family mix of NT’s and Autistics but then something simple happens that brings me crashing right back down to earth.
The playground is a biggie for this i.e. when I see another child my son’s age and how everything comes so easily for this child i.e. things that are just taken for granted like speech, eye contact and doing normal little boy stuff. Then I see my own son immersed in his own world, sometimes looking at the other kids but at this stage not being able to communicate with them at their level and my heart feels like breaking for him.
It’s not any easier that I personally have felt so much of the pain of trying to cope with being Autistic in a Neurotypical world. It can be such a struggle at times and I worry so much for my happy go lucky, energetic son. I want to make it better for him and I can only but hope that awareness of who he is and the proper support that wasn’t an option when I growing up will make all the difference for him.
My hope is that my son can grow up to be Proudly Autistic, Optimistic, Informed and Self-assured about who he is. That is what I am hoping to give my son through our families awareness and acceptance within our family unit.
Woman asks everyone to accept autism.
Young Girl with Autism
Website full of autism facts and advice
- Accepting the diagnosis of autism | SteadyHealth.com
When a patient receives a dignosis of autism, there is a possibility that this overwhelming realization leaves several questions connected with the disease. Feeling that the diagnosis is incorrect is also very common because most people do not believ
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My Facebook where I rant, give out and write about the issues affecting me and mine. Autism, Aspergers Syndrome, Fragile X Syndrome etc.,