Dealing with any negative diagnosis of a child is a painful experience for a parent, but an Autism Diagnosis can be even more difficult because there are so few answers.
We found out about my son’s Autism Spectrum Disorder three years ago. I have known for years that my son was “different” and I have had him tested several times through the public school system. We even went to a private psychologist for testing, but unfortunately I chose the wrong doctor and our visits did more harm than good.
Finally, I found a specialist who accurately diagnosed my son with NonVerbal Learning Disability and Aspergers, which is an Autism Spectrum Disorder.
I was relieved to finally have an answer, but overwhelmed by the repercussions. The doctor recommended that we continue home schooling my son (which we had done for 2 years at the time of the diagnosis) and that we add occupational therapy for his sensory integration issues.
I remember feeling lost and frustrated. Our insurance would not cover the therapy and the closest therapist was many miles away from our home. It was a difficult time.
I also felt alone. At that time there were no well-known autism groups and I knew no way of finding any. I had to pray and figure things out on my own. I had a grieving process to go through knowing that my son would probably never be “normal”. Other parents have even more difficult situations than ours. My son is at least functional in daily life, but it is still a loss of my expectations and dreams of what his life would be like.
Now years later I can say that we are doing much better. I have an understanding now that the things that bother me about him are really out of his control. We still have our days when things are difficult. I still sometimes grieve that my son has these issues, but I also realize that God made him for a special purpose. He will use everything in my son’s life (whether I see it is a strength or a weakness) to make him the man he is supposed to be.