Well, it’s happened. Three weeks ago B was diagnosed by his paediatrician as being on the autistic spectrum. After a brief observation, a look through the reports on him and a chat with his mom and I, she confirmed that he was autistic (or has autism- I never know how to say it), possibly mild, possibly aspergers.
Although we knew this anyway, it was a suprise to get a diagnosis. In fact, we were in shock. It has taken me three weeks to be able to write about this.
Ahead of the appointment, getting a diagnosis was my main concern, as it could then open up the opportunities for support that we need. I thought I’d be relieved, satisfied, empowered, whatever. But that’s not how I felt. Even though we knew, even though it was just a formality, even though not getting a diagnosis yet would have been unhelpful, it has still come as a major blow.
I think this is because it takes it back to a simple fact- our son has autism. The diagnosis left us reeling, despite all the build up and expectations. It was deeply upsetting and for at least two weeks has been difficult to comprehend. There is a further complication in that he will need to have an MRI scan, following the doctor’s physical examination of him. I have not picked up a book about autism since and could not bring myself to write about it.
Friends at work were pleased that we’d got the diagnosis because they thought I’d be pleased. I did too. Knowing he definitely is autistic has been much more difficult than I thought. My wife has still not told anyone at work and is struggling to come to terms with it. Things have been difficult at home.
In the last week there has been a lot going on in terms of observations and meetings with nursery and school, and this has helped re-focus us after a period of feeling a bit lost and helpless.
Above all, it has only made our love for B stronger. And that’s what really counts. Before the diagnosis, we wanted to be able to help him in every way possible and get all the support we could. At least now that can begin.