Following the previous, disastrous attempt at a hearing test, my wife took B for a further appointment this week. This time, however, it was a different story. The test was carried out with the minimum of fuss and, although he wouldn’t let them look in his ears, B was fine. As expected, there is nothing wrong with his ears (neither was there ever any doubt that there was anything wrong).
I can’t help but feel that the crucial difference this time was having the diagnosis. Although he’d been before and they knew what to expect, this time we contacted them in advance and told them about his speech, language and communication difficulties and the fact that he had been diagnosed. It made a difference because they were ready for him and were able to carry out the test quickly and efficiently, in a way that suited his needs.
We could have done this last time, I suppose, but there is a difference between thinking he ‘might be’ and knowing. Having the diagnosis is empowering and gives us the confidence to be able to say with some certainty that this was the situation. No more guessing, hedging our bets or feeling reluctant to ‘tempt fate’. As such, I have to say that having the diagnosis is a good thing and this perhaps serves as a small example of why it is so important and useful to get it early. People I have spoken to have said, “I really wish we’d known sooner.”
I’m not glad my son is autistic but I’m glad we have a diagnosis that he is autistic. It’s taken a while to be able to say that.