I was driving home this morning from our OT (Occupational Therapy) appointment this morning and thinking back to the day of diagnosis.
We were just coming off the high of learning of Pumpkin's pregnancy. Just the day before, on Sunday, we had learned I was pregnant with her. Such wonderful news for us.
The appointment only took an hour, but what a life changing hour it was.
The previous 12 months had been fraught with questions. Each appointment only brought questions, not answers. One psychologist insisted on medicated for ADHD. He also thought Brother had ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder). We PCS'd so we sought answers elsewhere. Upon learning about developmental pediatricians, I made an appointment almost immediately to get a referral. In September of 2004, 2 months after arriving in Texas, we met with one.
He listened closely and carefully to everything I said. He asked many questions all the while he observed Brother.
At the end? High functioning autism.
It was bittersweet. Relief at a name. Relief that his behavior was not because of bad parenting. Sadness. Grief. Fear. Worry.
Then, the planner in me got going. What would we need to do? We started at another therapy clinic, but I didn't like it there. How can you treat children with autism when the appointments weren't even on the same day much less the same hour each week? We got our referral changed to Kidz Therapeze. I LOVE the therapists and staff at this clinic.
It has been a long, hard road for all of us. We had bumps along the way. I've had regrets. Regrets on how many times Brother got in trouble for something he had no control over. I know many moms of children with autism feel this way. I know as I've spoken to them.
There's still more to go. But, we're moving along. It's not going as fast as he'd like, but he'll get there. Where you ask? Independent living.