Making Sense of a New Autism Diagnosis
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]A new diagnosis of autism brings up new questions. Now what? Read one mom's experience finding community and learning to celebrate our unique selves.Autism.It’s just one word. But if you’re reading this, it likely stirs up many feelings. If your child has just been diagnosed, you may feel relief. You may also feel fear or sadness. You may feel anger. You may feel like running away. You probably want to hold your child tight (either physically or in your mind) and close out the world for a minute.The first time I heard “autism” in reference to my son, I felt an immediate lump in my throat. I couldn’t hear the rest of what the psychologist was saying. I felt annoyed at myself that I told my husband he didn’t need to come, and I felt confused. I was angry with myself for having these feelings. I did not want to label my child as autistic because it felt somehow too simple. As the psychologist spoke to me, my inner dialogue began, “He’s a person, he’s so much than a diagnosis. A list of symptoms does not begin to describe who my son is. You don’t even know him.”I left that meeting, picked up all of my children and took sandwiches to the park. I left my phone in the car. I shut out the world out for a minute and held my kids tight.In the months that followed, I joined parent groups on Facebook, I had school meetings, and my son and I became involved with a sports group for kids with autism. I still wasn’t sure if I agreed with the diagnosis, but I researched anyway. I learned a lot from the groups and I noticed that a lot of the questions that other parents had were questions that I had too. And I realized something that I thought I already knew: autism is a huge spectrum.
“If you’ve met one child with autism, you’ve met one child with autism.” (Dr. Stephen Shore)
Interested in reading more about autism? Click the links below:
Accepting your child’s diagnosisHow to love your child with autism when they don’t (seem to) love you backThe “honesty gland": How my son with autism tells it like it isAsk these 10 questions when searching for an ABA provider[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]