Qwietpleez's Journal

Musings, rantings and dreams . . .

 

I sat for what seemed like hours staring at the small stack of papers the doctor had given me. My tears had already stained many of the pages. My husband understood. He was feeling the same emotions I was. If he had tears to shed though, they were his alone. I stared at the word 'autistic', it stood out among the rest. I ran my finger along the print. Autism, Sensory Integration Dysfunction, Language Processing Disorder, learning disability . . . The tears rained down.

We had waited so long for a diagnosis. So long for someone to listen and understand. The tears I shed were not in sadness or despair, I was happy, near euphoric and excited about what this long awaited diagnosis meant for my son.

He will be twenty-two this year. I knew the moment our eyes first met there was something special about him. I realize all mothers could make that claim but somehow I knew something was different. He was pure perfection in my eyes. It became more and more apparent there was more to my feeling than just a feeling. He was not meeting milestones he should have been meeting. He was so different from other babies his age.

Twenty plus years ago the 'autistic spectrum' didn't seem to exist. The word autism kept coming to me but the doctors dismissed me each time I suggested it. When he was two he was enrolled in a special needs preschool. He was diagnosed as learning disabled with Sensory Integration Dysfunction. He began speech therapy and occupational therapy and I saw change and growth but there was still something there, right beneath the surface. It seemed I was the only one who could see it.

When he began grade school his services stopped. They said he did not have a qualifying condition to merit the services he so badly needed. He was said to be learning disabled and placed in a mainstream classroom with modified work. I watched my son slip away and I began to fight. All the while teaching him and working with him as I always had, but I fought the school, I fought the district and finally in the fourth grade he was placed in the special day class and he began to learn.

It wasn't enough though. They didn't understand him. They forced him to make eye contact he was unable to make. They forced him to suffer through an ever changing and unpredictable schedule and punished him when he would retreat into his own little world. I once again brought up autism. He can talk they said, he doesn't have autism. He is smart they said, he can't possibly be autistic.

My younger son was having many of the same difficulties and was beginning speech therapy. The school psychologist suggested I had Munchhausen's by proxy and urged me to seek help. I was furious. I made an appointment with yet another doctor and within a week my prayers were answered. By God's grace we walked into the office of a young doctor who recently attended a seminar about autism.

He knew there was a spectrum, he knew of Aspergers and high functioning autism and PDD, he knew how to diagnose my son and he knew what we needed. In my heart I knew he was autistic, now someone else finally understood. I broke down in his office. I tried to hold it back but the flood of emotions I had so long waited to release could not be contained. I praised the Lord right there in that office and have been praising him in thanks every day since.

With this new and proper diagnosis my son was placed in the perfect classroom setting, he was given back the therapies he needed and deserved. He began to grow and learn once again. He graduated from high school is growing every day into wise and wonderful young man, intelligent and witty. He most definitely walks to the beat of his own drummer and he is perfect, just as I always knew he was.

The day my son was diagnosed with autism was one of the happiest days of my life. Two of my four children have autistic spectrum disorders and I know I am blessed.

 

 

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Comments:

mcque...
Apr. 2, 2011 at 12:10 AM

For You!!! I am sure you have seen this. HUGS

The Special Mother

by Erma Bombeck

Most women become mothers by accident, some by choice,
a few by social pressure and a couple by habit.
This year nearly 100,000 women will become mothers of handicapped children.
Did you ever wonder how these mothers are chosen?
Somehow I visualize God hovering over Earth
Selecting his instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation.
As he observes, he instructs his angels to take notes in a giant ledger.
"Armstrong, Beth, son. Patron Saint, Matthew."
"Forrest, Marjorie, daughter. Patron Saint, Celia."
"Rutledge, Carrie, twins. Patron Saint...give her Gerard. He's used to profanity."
Finally he passes a name to an angel and smiles. "Give her a handicapped child."
The angel is curious. "Why this one, God? She's so happy."
"Exactly," smiles God. "Could I give a handicapped child a mother who knows no laughter?
That would be cruel."
"But does she have the patience?" asks the angel.
"I don't want her to have too much patience, or she'll drown in a sea of self-pity and despair.
Once the shock and resentment wear off she'll handle it."
"I watched her today.
She has that sense of self and independence so rare and so necessary in a mother.
You see, the child I'm going to give her has a world of it's own.
She has to make it live in her world, and that's not going to be easy."
"But Lord, I don't think she even believes in you."
God smiles. "No matter, I can fix that. This one is perfect. She has just enough selfishness."
The angel gasps, "Selfishness? Is that a virtue?"
God nods. "If she can't separate herself from the child occasionally, she will never survive.
Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child less than perfect.
She doesn't know it yet, but she is to be envied.
She will never take for granted a spoken word.
She will never consider a step ordinary.
When her child says momma for the first time, she will be witness to a miracle and know it.
I will permit her to see clearly the things I see--ignorance, cruelty,
prejudice--and allow her to rise above them.
She will never be alone.
I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life
Because she is doing my work as surely as she is here by my side."
"And what about her Patron Saint?" asks the angel, his pen poised in the air. God smiles.
"A mirror will suffice."
______________________________________________

Here is the link to the page the poem is on.......

http://the-callahans.com/susete/poem1.htm

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cindi...
Apr. 2, 2011 at 11:38 AM

Wow Crystal I went thru the same thing to get Ryan dx'd....

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Mommy...
Apr. 2, 2011 at 11:58 AM

bow down

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alici...
Apr. 2, 2011 at 1:20 PM

Kudos to you for not giving up the fight!! i am too struggling with the same things, only my oldest has been diagnosed with moderate to sever autism and my youngest has it too and I can see it, he just has a different kind. My kids are 2 and 3 and right now I am in the process of getting all the possible help that I can. I just read this and it really touched my heart because of the fact that u didn't give up. You knew he was special when everyone else didn't see it. I am there with you. I am only 22 and have a long road ahead of me but I was wondering if you could kinda lead me down the path you taken. I'm lost. thanks so much for posting this though.

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super...
Apr. 2, 2011 at 9:22 PM Wonderful post-- thanks for sharing. :)
Your son is lucky to have you.

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Alynn74
Apr. 2, 2011 at 11:30 PM

Alicia37863-  Crystal is one of the many great moms who helped me when my children were diagnosed. If you need help, answers or just people to help get you through the tough times -come join the Autism, Aspergers, PDD-NOS Awreness group here!! That's what we are here for !!!!

Beautiful Crystal just like everything else you write-just beautiful!

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eilenej1
Apr. 3, 2011 at 10:29 AM

Thanks for sharing.  I've never seen having a diagnosis as a bad thing, only as the thing that can link us to information and services to help my son grow. 

Alicia37863, I wholeheartedly agree that you should join the Autism, Aspergers, PDD-NOS Awareness group.  The group is wonderfully supportive and well informed because they all have direct contact with autism spectrum disorders.

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jcdmom
Apr. 10, 2011 at 2:38 PM

I love reading your journals. You say everything I want and need to hear and say!

My son was 7yr when he was finally Dx. We had 3 times of being tested.

Of course voted Popular!

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