One Year Later
A Mother’s Autism Story
According to mass general, the Autism spectrum disorder now affects 1 in 68 children. Boys are nearly 5 times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with ASD. Autism spectrum disorder is one of the fastest-growing developmental disorders in the United States. ASD is more common than childhood cancer, diabetes and AIDS combined.
It’s ok…It’s just a phase
August 15, 2017 was supposed to be a normal day for us. For the most part it was. I spent my morning cleaning, taking care of Charlotte and Sean, and getting myself ready for my afternoon at work. The only different thing in my schedule was Sean’s pediatric checkup. As I was getting us ready to get out the door, I made my normal prayer asking that ” Sean not stem (not knowing that’s what it he was really doing) in front of the doctor so she could see he was ok. that this is/was just a phase.” I often told myself he was good and I had nothing to worry about.
After dropping Charlotte off to my mom, Sean and I were off to the doctor. His appointment went like it was suppose, Sean was (and still is) a big healthy boy. At the end of Sean’s appointment, she looked at me and said that she really wanted me to call the state number to get Sean some therapies. She had been seeing developmental delays, and Blah,blah,blah… I say it like this because at this point, I spaced out and cannot for the life of me remember what she was telling me!
When I could speak, I remember saying ” I really need you to be more specific with me… What are you trying to tell me??”. She looked at me and said those fateful words “possible Autism. maybe not though because he makes great eye contact but his hand flapping is a classic sign for example.”… Honestly you could have pushed me over with a feather.
When I got us to the car I was still reeling from what I had just been told. I do not think I could even breath. So many questions and thoughts began to race through my head. How could this be? Can she be completely wrong? Sean is not talking right now, so maybe this is just a verbal thing? He just needs speech therapy, that’s all…. OH GOSH NOW I HAVE TO SEE MY MOM! How am I going to tell her this? OH GOD how am I going to tell Brent?! At this point I am in route to my mom’s to drop Sean off and had managed to hold back any tears.My mom looked at me as we walked through the door and asked how it had gone… I said fine hoping I would not have to talk about it at this point. BUT NOPE!!! As all good mothers do, they look you square in the eye and ask “No what’s wrong?” I repeated what the doctor had said slowly… out loud…. AND CRIED. She cried with me while telling me she had known something was wrong for a while. She did not want to say anything to me because she did not want to offend me or hurt me. So, she chose to wait till the doctor had said something to me. She was right though I would have been very defensive of my baby boy and would not have listened. (I think most would naturally have that response)
“Have you told Brent yet?” At this point I had not because he would not have been able to answer me yet. He works in a shipyard so I try to not call him till his lunch break. I knew I had to tell him ASAP because I would not see him till later in the evening when I got off work.
We’ll be ok!
I knew I had to tell him ASAP because I would not see him till later in the evening when I got off work. On my drive into work, his lunch time, I called. I again had to re-tell what happened all while trying to be strong for him. He is such an amazing dad to both our babies. Brent became very quiet. I am sure going through the same surging emotions I was. Again, I kind of black out during this short but very impactful conversation. I know he did not say much on the phone. He did, however, tell me he loves me and the kids and we would all be ok. He is amazing at knowing we will all be ok, we would go through this together as a family and a couple.
As I write this, I am able to look back and see how far we have come. Yes, a year is not that long, in the grand scheme of things, but this was truly a pivotal year for us. It is really crazy to think how much has changed already in our new normal. Sean was able to receive services in state and clinically, and he was officially diagnosed in May, Charlotte finished first grade at one school and started second grade in a new school, we bought a new house, and I have started this blog!!! I mean many other little things but those are the ones that stick out the most.
It has been a very busy and emotionally draining year as well. It has taught me that I have more strength than I ever thought I did. It has shown me how strong Brent and I are as husband and wife. It has shown me how amazing Charlotte has always been to her baby brother. She has shown such understanding and pure LOVE for him. I count my blessings every day.
Katlyn- A Gulf Coast Mommy
Wow O Wow! I am completely blown away at how strong our Mrs. Mommy Katlyn is; after reading and rereading this post, I went through the rollercoaster of emotions with her. I hope that you found this blog post helpful and encouraging. No matter what gets thrown your way, you are made to handle it.
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Aquisha aka Mrs. Mommy