It was Friday September 14, 2018, the day when I felt that my world was going to fall apart…
Last June, we went to see a Pediatric Development doctor for my son (his pediatrician referred him on his 24 month well child follow up). At first, we didn’t have a single clue that the scheduled appointment was for ASD evaluation. So when I first heard the word “autism” my heart sunk. My thought that day was that I didn’t have any idea that my son could have symptoms and I didn’t even notice them. I have limited knowledge about autism before that appointment. The doctor told us, every child is different and if we can help ourselves not to compare or look it up on the internet otherwise it would just give us a lot of worry. She told us to come back after 3 months for final evaluation.
Of course, I didn’t follow her advice, I couldn’t help myself. That same day, I googled and youtubed it and there were the list of symptoms that have been considered “red flags” for ASD. I started reading each symptoms and some of them I see with my son. But I told myself, every child is different. So he still goes to his speech therapy twice a week. They said he’s improving on some aspects like following directions and imitations. Not so much on pointing yet though.
It is hard for parents to know that their kid is diagnosed with ASD. The day the doctor gave the final diagnosis, we were speechless, sad and heartbroken. Although days before the appointment, I am already feeling half-hearted because I saw some symptoms of ASD and a part of me was in denial. I wanted to speak and ask, “How could this be happening? Is this real? What will happen to my son now?”. I was in denial for a moment then I was mad at myself. Is this all my fault? I couldn’t speak, I was holding back my tears. I don’t want my son to see me that broken. I couldn’t think right. My heart felt so heavy that it just wanted to fall apart. No words can describe how painful it is for us to hear that he has ASD and that he will carry this diagnosis for the rest of his life. Nobody spoke while we were in the car. I guess, my husband and I were both processing what just happened. I went to work right after pretending I was fine, like I am was not carrying a heavy heart and so did my husband.
Fear. scar We are scared ed of how people around him will react.. how will he be able to cope? We will protect our son for as long as we could, whatever it takes and that is for sure.
This diagnosis is not what we wanted but we can’t just sit here and stare on the wall and do nothing. We have to act right away. They say that the setting up early interventions will make a lot of difference. We have to do something as soon as we can. Although we know that there is no cure for this diagnosis, early intervention is the key. The doctor gave us a list for ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) providers so we can start calling who can see/assess my son the soonest.
Our love for our son didn’t change a bit, it is growing more and more everyday. He is different but not less.