Me and my little bump (Michael) and my “other love” writing, so happy and unaware that my life would change even more than expected.
This morning we start a new process, yet it is a familiar one for Michael’s Dad and I. I knew this day was coming. I am ready for it, yet I am not. Michael needs to be reassessed for his autism. It is procedure here where we live, and we are fortunate that we have some good public health facilities that can provide this. However, it is a hard process. Not like the first time we had him diagnosed. We went privately to do this as the public wait was too long for a first evaluation, two years. We knew it would make all the difference getting him help sooner. This is different. We know he has autism. He is getting the best help possible. It is just to affirm where he is and how far he has come. Yet the paperwork that had to be filled out to get here was hard. Very hard. Even though it was brief, I had to relive every question about mine and my family’s and my husband’s family’s health history, my pregnancy, Michael’s birth, and when we started noticing delays and problems. It brought back to me in one crashing moment all that blame I put on myself six years ago. It was what I ate that caused this, my genes were to blame. I revisited it all in one morning. And the heaviness of it weighed me down that morning. It lifted eventually, but it was difficult. I zipped through those seven stages of grief to acceptance and healing in a half hour, as long as it took to fill out the paperwork. Those wounds are healed, but they were briefly reopened. It brought me back to the scared Mom I was six years ago, the Mom who didn’t know what to do, where to start to save her little boy.
Michael on his scooter, something I used to think he would never do. I love when he proves me wrong!
I didn’t know that Michael and I both needed saving then. So first I brought him into my world, as he miraculously brought me into his world and the beauty of his world as it is. Yes, he needed therapy, interventions, work to be his best self in our crazy world, but don’t we all? I was the one who learned about different ways of being and living, and learning and seeing the world thanks to Michael. He has shown me what really matters, and as with all kids only even more so, how to stop and smell the roses and enjoy the small beauties of life as well as the small victories we all experience. Michael has opened up so much for me, for everyone in our family, and it will make me sad if I see the professionals looking past this. Not all of them do. Some see all children in terms of ability, not disability. I hope this is what we experience tomorrow. I hope Michael sees these doctors as positive forces and the visit and the many that will follow until we complete this process, as positive and filled with hope. As I told him in the Social Story I wrote about our visits, these doctors will become part of “Team Michael.” Regardless, I am prepared to reflect Michael’s progress back to him as is his Dad. We will be the mirror of how far he has come and will go.
Exceptional Parents, how do you feel when you visit doctors with your child? What type of response do you and they have to your child and how do you feel about that? We have been so lucky that most of the medical professionals and therapists we have come in contact with and work with have been and are positive towards Michael and his progress. Having a child go through a process of diagnosis or re-diagnosis is difficult, with some challenges and possible disappointments. Make sure you are prepared for anything with your child by getting enough sleep, eating right and practicing self-care, whatever that is for you. Stay strong, be positive and your love will come shining through everything for your child. Until next time.