It is every parents fear and nightmare to be told there is something wrong with their child….
It is by no means that I think my children are perfect, but they are mine, and I love them unconditionally. So when it was suggested that my son Noah had behavioural issues, the “mommy claws” started coming out.
We have been struggling with Noah and outbursts of anger and temper tantrums from an early age. Now four years old, though he still has episodes at home, they were becoming fewer and we felt that we could be turning a corner with him.
But at daycare things weren’t going so well. Seemingly without warning Noah would have episodes of anger directed at his classmates or his teachers. The tools that we’re working at home just weren’t cutting it in the classroom. He was like Jekyll and Hyde….going from a sweet little boy to a screaming, enraged, furious child. It was heartbreaking…
What were we doing wrong as parents that we could have a child so out of control? Why couldn’t we figure this out? Why were things seemingly improving at home, but going so horribly wrong at Daycare?
After several visits with a Speech pathologist and Occupational Therapist, we were then directed to a pediatrician. Although she did not observe anything hugely significant, she forwarded our case to the Pediatric developmental clinic here at our local hospital.
Through all these appointments we were hopeful for a logical explanation, but continued to struggle with a clear answer. So when we finally got the call for an appointment with the developmental team I waited with anticipation for the day.
My husband and I had tossed around the idea of autism on various occasions. There were some signs, but Noah was progressing really well academically as well as with his speech. It couldn’t be autism….could it?
The day arrived for the assessment and Noah walked in between Greg and I hand in hand as we walked in to the hospital. We had just seen the Lego movie recently so he was singing “Everything is Awesome!” At the top of his lungs. He was in a good mood and was his usual charming self throughout the entire assessment.
They asked him questions and played games with him. Noah thrives on one on one attention and did so well. Greg and I sat to the side, able to observe his activities and hear his answers to their questions. Most of the questions were pretty routine. My heart broke though when he said it made him sad when his friends didn’t want to play with him, and sometimes he felt lonely and alone.
We took a break for lunch and then came back to meet with the entire team including the pediatrician to discuss the results.
We sat across from the team as they discussed how the assessment had gone…then came the diagnosis….”your son fits within the spectrum of autism”.
So there it was…a diagnosis…there was something wrong with my child…
I had been texting my sister and a couple friends who I had been confiding in all morning. Asking for prayers and support. It made their diagnosis so much easier. As I texted the results to my friends and sister the support continued to come, and I am so thankful for all their words of encouragement. All their advice and words were God given for sure.
My take home notes as I look back on those texts:
1. A label just like anything that happens in life is what you choose it to be. If you take it as something wrong or negative then that is how you will experience it. If you take it as just powerful knowledge on how to parent your child best and use it to help them, then it will be a positive experience.
2. He is still MY Noah…no different than he was before the tests.
I am so thankful for God loving and God serving women in my life to encourage me through this. Even the developmental team dealt with the diagnosis as a positive thing; as a stepping stone to help bring out his true potential that is being held back just by how his thinking is wired.
Keep the prayers and encouragement coming ladies!