An Autism Diagnosis: The Day We’d Been Waiting For

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My son has autism. But despite suspecting this for a long time, nothing can prepare you for how it feels when it is confirmed by a medical professional.

Monday started out like any other day, Max went off to school and I did some cleaning at home. I collected Max from school at 11:45am, we had some lunch and then heading over to Children’s Centre for this appointment.

We told Max that he would get to play with some toys and play some games at the appointment so that the doctors could see how clever he is. He was absolutely fine with this and didn’t question it.

We weren’t waiting for long before we were  called into a room. Me and my husband sat down with four other people; a pediatrician, a speech and language therapist, a psychologist and a trainee psychologist.

Max sat down at a separate table and played with the toys. He was completely unphased by the whole thing.

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The speech and language lady sat with Max and played with him/watched him as he played. I think she was trying to get an idea of how he plays and how he interacts.

We were asked a few questions by the doctor and then the psychologist began asking questions, SO MANY QUESTIONS! I expected some questions but I wasn’t quite prepared for that many.

We were asked questions about how he was as a baby, which I really hadn’t expected and it’s actually really hard to remember that far back. Especially since we’ve had another baby since then.

Was he a smiley baby?

Was he a good sleeper?

When did he get his first words?

Was he happy to be around other people?

Did he play baby games?

What baby noises did he make? Did it sound like he was trying to communicate with you?

Did he try to get peoples attention and interact with them?

Being asked these sorts of questions made me realise that maybe there were early signs there that I just didn’t pick up on. But then he was my first baby, I didn’t really know what was normal behavior for a baby and what wasn’t.

She asked a lot of questions that made a lot of things so much clearer in a way. I can see now that he’s always struggled to communicate, despite having the ability too. Around the age of two I remember he would just cry and cry when there was something wrong, rather than just ask for help. Even now,  if for example he’s drawing a picture and it’s  not going to plan, he will just get frustrated and angry rather than ask someone to help.

I felt really sad at this point, it must be so hard for him not being able to control his emotions and not being able to communicate properly. My poor boy.

After we were finished with all the questions we were asked to go back out into the waiting room, while they had a chat and came to a decision.

We met back in the room about 10 minutes later and we were told that yes, they believe that Max does have an Autism Spectrum Disorder. I knew it was coming, but it still hit me and I had to try hard not to burst into tears. It’s  hard to describe exactly how I felt, obviously I was sad but yet relieved at the same time.

We were then given some feedback but to be honest by this point I was struggling to take anything else in. What I do remember is being told that it’s a good thing that he’s been diagnosed at such a young age and that we can now start helping him to deal with things a little better than he does at the moment.

I’m relieved that it’s out of the way and we now know for definite the reason why he behaves like he does. But at the end of the day, this doesn’t really fix anything. I just hope it means that us and Max can get the help we need, when we need it.

In my next blog post I plan to talk about what happens next and where we go from here.

Thanks for reading.


 

 

 

19 Comments

  1. February 17, 2016 / 10:10 am

    He is so adorable, and you are such a good mom to take the steps he needs to become more functional. It may be a sad realization, but the future will be so much brighter. Keep pushing forward mom!

  2. February 17, 2016 / 10:43 am

    Hi Emma, my heart really goes out to you and your family. One thing I will say is, you are so fortunate for this diagnosis to be now, and not later. Also, medical science is so good these days with professionals in the necessary fields to help Max. I believe Autism can differ from one to another, but I know, you are going to have those days where things are just too overwhelming. Hang in there.
    I was told nine years ago that my daughter was showing signs of being on the Autism Spectrum. Her circumstances are very different though. She is 27, is now mentally handicapped due to her heart stopping after a massive seizure at age 3 1/2. Since then she has suffered regular seizures, effecting her brain. We tried endless therapies, doctors, you name it we did it, over the years, but sadly then, doctors and therapists were not equipped with knowledge as they are today(well not in South Africa), So on that point, I know Max is going to be fine. I often think, if, what happened to my daughter then, happened today, she would be in a much better place mentally than she is now.
    Max is going to be fine. 🙂
    Take care
    x

  3. February 17, 2016 / 10:58 am

    Good to see you’ve had an early decision, despite it not being the answer you’d hoped for. Children are more resilient than we often give them credit for, so if he’s also getting the targeted support he needs, things will work out well, I’m sure 🙂

  4. baby1mummy0
    February 17, 2016 / 1:07 pm

    It must be a difficult time even if you are expecting it but now that you know the situation, you can get the right support, the right help and that should make a huge difference in moving forward. Good luck and let us know how you get on. Your boy is a cutie by the way x

  5. February 17, 2016 / 3:37 pm

    Hi Emma ! It is so brave of you to share your story with everyone because this is real. Not many people know about this and they should be very educated on it. I am going through something similar with my son. He has problems with his speech and I was in denial for so long but when I actually heard it back after his evaulAtion I was crushed. Because we all want our kids to be prefect and have nothing wrong with them. But I am glad that I am starting his speech therapy now while he still small . You are doing a great job and don’t worry your little one will be okay 🙂

    • February 24, 2016 / 2:38 pm

      Thank you. I’m glad your son is doing well x

  6. ShanBaylis
    February 19, 2016 / 1:36 am

    We are in the process of trying to figure out what’s going on with our son. He sounds like your son but he also has a lot of hyperactivity. His father’s cousins are autistic so it’s a possibility he could be. Maybe there is a generic marker for this type of thing. He is having a really hard time at school like acting out and throwing chairs and chalkboards.

    • February 24, 2016 / 2:39 pm

      Thanks for commenting. I hope you can get some help with your son x

      • ShanBaylis
        February 24, 2016 / 3:16 pm

        You’re welcome! We are in the process of getting it all hashed out so it is a learning trip from here on out.

  7. February 20, 2016 / 1:36 pm

    Completely relate to all of this. I absolutely crumbled when we got our diagnosis. The guilt of all the things I hadn’t noticed was almost unbearable. I’m still not good but starting to feel more positive. Have a happier post coming Monday. They’re still our gorgeous little boys and they’re going to achieve so much. xxx

    • February 24, 2016 / 2:40 pm

      In a way its nice to know there are other people out there going through a similar thing. Thank you for commenting x

  8. Clare Trimming
    April 2, 2016 / 10:31 am

    Got my sons autism diagnosis yesterday I felt so relieved that someone saw what I saw and all the professionals agreed Jayden has autism like you I hope now he can get the help he needs he is in preschool at the moment and he has just turned three so starts school next year September so I hope that gives us enough time to get the education and health plan in place it used to be called statements they have also offered us a course for parents to help manage their behaviour and minimise anxiety especially Jayden hates being in a noisy place or to many people so hopefully they can help with that and I need all the help I can get to get him to eat more than chips and milk and ideas would be welcome

    • April 2, 2016 / 5:34 pm

      Glad you got a diagnosis. It’s great that he’s been diagnosed at a young age, I hope he’ll get the help he needs. We are going on 2 autism workshops but they aren’t until June 😕 x

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