I recently received a panicked text from a good friend of mine. Her son had just been "maybe" diagnosed with Asperger's. My friend didn't understand why she was so upset. She had long suspected something was off (?) with her son. He was certainly different in social situations than her other children. (One of whom is a diva extraordinaire) She had questioned doctors before and always been told "no". But she kept asking because in her heart she worried.
When she got the report she knew what it could contain. So why was she breaking in the supermarket parking lot?
My response: You were just told in black and white that your little boy isn't perfect.
Now before everyone gets up in arms I am NOT saying that there is anything "wrong" with her son. I am not saying that having (or maybe having) autism means you are not perfect. In all honesty, every parent has a notion of what their child is and will be.
We never think they will have a disability, a syndrome or a diagnosis. They will be a princess, a prince, a cheerleader, a musician or the President of the United States.
When you first get that diagnosis it hurts. It hurts worse than any pain you can imagine, other than physically losing a child. There is a grieving process and you (she) have to allow yourself to go through it.
Then you get your big girl warrior panties on and figure out what needs to be done.
I believe that I had it easier than most. At birth I knew there was something wrong (for lack of a better word) with Boo. I knew immediately there were health issues. Serious ones, that became non-serious. By three months I knew she was not developing correctly. I was better prepared that my child had a disability. I knew that Boo would be intellectually disabled long before the doctor broke the news to us. That she has come so far has been a miracle to me.
Yet still the autism diagnosis threw me for a loop. My defense at the time was that I had been told multiple times that Boo had something but it was not autism. Then it was. And it was okay. It was okay to struggle, to cry and to wonder what now?
My friend's son has not been officially diagnosed. He might have Asperger's or he might not. More testing is needed, should she decide they need a definitive answer. Either way, I said to her, you were just told in black and white your little boy isn't perfect.
Except he is, perfection just has a different definition now.