That day replays in my mind clear as can be. As much as I wish the movie would change, it always ends the same. I can still see the neurologist ruffling my little boy’s hair, knocking over the blocks as my son built them, and performing nonverbal actions with my son for what seemed like an eternity. Finally, I blurt out “Are you going to talk to him because you are freaking me out?!” And then, slowly and clearly and unequivocally, the doctor looks directly at me and says “The way that I am freaking you, I should be freaking him out. He should have ran over to you and jumped on your lap.”
BAM! It hit me. It sunk in. Holy cow. He was right. Blake’s twin brother absolutely would have ran over to my husband or me. But not Blake. He didn’t. He has autism. (or, as some like to say (not me), Blake was autistic).
My husband and Blake and I walked out of the doctor’s office. NOW WHAT?????? Who do I talk to? Who can I talk with? Where do I go? What does it all mean? There is no handbook given to us. The internet is overwhelming and exhausting, not to mention depressing, at times.
As the owners of My Favorite Therapists, we are learning that this feeling of the unknown, loss, confusion, fear, anxiety, anger, and frustration is so very common. It’s scary and unfair and challenging. We all want to protect our children. We want to see them happy. We want to have that perfect family. But finding out that your child is “on the spectrum” changes everything. Accepting the diagnosis is not easy, but helps in taking the next steps toward therapy. Understanding that therapy trumps social get-togethers is extremely beneficial. In the long run, studies have shown that intensive therapy is proven to be highly successful. Had we known, my husband and I would definitely have started Blake with ABA (behavior therapy) from the very beginning.
But, therapy is often hard to find and figure out, not to mention costly. Try to get with an insurance company that will cover behavior therapy sessions! Ask questions! Find a therapy company that will work with you and your family for the success of your child! You are and will be your child’s best advocate. We know. And whether or not you become a part My Favorite Therapists’ family, we wish you well.