Its Official – My Child Has ASD, But ASD Does Not have Him.

Smash-N-Break had his evaluation.  The school can take upwards of 2 months minimum to get back with us with a draft before we even meet to finalize a report.  The wheels of government sure do turn slowly.  So far, they haven’t gone to see him in school and haven’t spoken to his therapist at all, which are our two big areas of concern and issue.  Further, Texas has a disgraceful thing of decreasing the number of students classified as “special needs” needing a 504 or an IEP down from 13% to 8.5%  Congrats, Texas!  You did it!  Not really a good thing if you have children who have slipped through the cracks, but you met your goal!  Good for you!  NOTE:  Texas – this really isn’t something to be proud of You’re hurting kids.  Dumbasses.  NEW NOTE: Someone told Texas Department of Education how dumb they are, and they have finally reversed this. 

We met in September with the school. We meet Friday, December 9

His therapist continues to work with him.  He’s also now had the testing done (ADOS model) and he “qualified” or whatever the term as on the spectrum. She also sees red flags in Littles. I’ll cross that bridge later.  The school district evaluator could see the red flags of autism, and said she would need to “see him at school to see if he only does this around mom”.  Hello.  He’s FOUR!  He spends most of his time around mom.  He’s going to be most relaxed and most himself around mom.  He can (and does) fake it at school – I get to deal with the aftermath of 15 minute scream fest at the top of his lungs after pickup.  I mean, he wouldn’t talk to the evaluators much or interact with them much.  They went and got other kids and I left the room.  He knew one of the kids from soccer, and still wouldn’t talk to them!  He would talk to them through his puppy by barking, but he wouldn’t talk to them.  This is normal.  This is Smash-N-Break.  Add in the above information about Texas and special education, and I’m preparing for a battle I hope I don’t have to face.  

People I have told have asked some of the most inane questions. 

Does he talk?  No, I’m a great ventriloquist.  Jeff Dunham has nothing on me.  Move over Achmed, the Dead Terrorist! 

Does he make eye contact?  Yes, but he’s in training to be an evil villain in a movie later, so he gets those shifty eyes.  

Its from vaccines, isn’t it?  No, don’t listen to a Playboy Playmate for medical information.  In fact, don’t google so much.  Why don’t you trust those people who went to, I don’t know, MEDICAL SCHOOL to use their training and superior understanding of microbiology, chemistry, and just science in general versus your Google Doctorate.    

Did you take prenatals?  Yes, but I puked them right back up mostly, so not really.  

You must feed him a lot of processed foods for this to have happened (substitute to have caused this, too).  Really?  Thanks SO MUCH!  I was feeling SO GOOD about giving my kid autism.  It’s EXACTLY what I wanted to gift to him!  

Was he a natural birth?  Or did you get an epidural (said with a shudder)?  Actually, I felt the doctor cut my uterus open, and felt her move my organs around and kicked her in the face.  Or tried to.  So, no epidural. However, they did give me some drug to knock my ass out.  And that was much better than feeling a c-section.  Mint?

God built him this way, and he is perfect the way he is.  “I praise you,
for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Wonderful are your works, my soul knows it very well.”  Psalm 139:14  I don’t know what caused this, and I need to change from seeing it as “my son isn’t neurotypical” to “my son can teach me so much about how he views this world”.  I can learn from him.  I can see the world in a completely different light.  The cause doesn’t matter.  This is Smash-N-Break.  That’s what matters.  

I can also grieve.  I have grieved.  I cried so hard when his psychologist said he was on the spectrum.  I envisioned not fighting for him harder in Colorado when I felt something was off with his speech.  I felt like thinking “we beat the autism odds” when Littles turned 18 months caused this.  I wouldn’t have chosen this for any child in the world.  I wouldn’t want to give any child a special need or diagnosis.  I took him to a birthday party not long after we were told he is on the spectrum.  I cried so hard on the way home.  It broke my heart.  Shattered.  All the other kids the same age were talking, playing, laughing, running.  He knew them from school.  He hid under the picnic table.  He would walk away when they tried to talk to him.  It was a very upfront in-your-face moment of “Yes, he is different”.  And it hurt.  I didn’t want him to be different.  An hour and fifteen minutes into the party, Littles went on the bouncy slide.  He then came back to Smash-N-Break and said “Come on.  Go on slide with me.”  He wasn’t trying to push Smash-N-Break – he just wanted him to come play with him.  To see your 2 year old helping your 4 year old come out and have fun just hurts.  The bouncy slide was empty, so he tried it.  He then played on it.  On his own.  When other kids came back, he would hug a side and still go down.  He was smiling and was happy, though.  But, I knew what would be “normal”.  Then, I got him in the car.  Being in public for so long in a strange environment had been hard on him.  We had a 15 minute scream fest on the way home.  It’s the high-pitched, open mouthed, wail.  He just couldn’t hold it in any longer.  He was exhausted, too, for not playing much.  He just wanted to sit in my lap that night.  And, I was happy to oblige.  

I had a friend send me an awesome link Oh, the tears flowed.  I bawled like a baby.  It was the exact words I needed to see, hear, and feel.  I felt these words like they were a hug from a dear friend.  I needed that.  I’ve made a few friends down here, but the ones I truly needed, my village of women, weren’t here for that hug.  This article was that feeling for me.  It honestly felt like that mom hug, where she just brings you in and you can sob and she tells you it will all be okay.  All from just a few hundred words on a screen.  She wrote my mom hug.  The sentence “It crushed me and put me back together all at the same time” – she KNOWS.  She gets it.  I’m still putting the pieces back together after the crush, and having it formally diagnosed so that I can get all the insurance and school/therapy headaches straightened out, I will probably be crushed again.  But, there is a community out there of people who have been there.  Who have put themselves back together.  Who are there to help dial the light down from blinding so we can see.  I still cry when I read her article.  It’s like she’s talking to me and just me, but she’s not.  It’s because these feelings are so normal.  These feelings aren’t wrong. It’s a normal thing to feel this way. There is support.  There is hope. 

So, if you’re waiting for a diagnosis you don’t necessarily want, but
need to make sense of your child (or yourself or your spouse), take comfort. Others have been there. Others will help guide you.  Once you’re out of the blinding light and into a new normal, you can be there for the new person who is blinded. Feel all the feelings. Embrace it. Grieve it. Then put it all back together to make a new masterpiece. It may be more Picasso than DaVinci, but it’s still your masterpiece. 

My name is Q, and my child has ASD. ASD will not have him.