Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Whew, enough said!

"It's hard to explain to someone who has no clue. It's a daily struggle being in pain or feeling sick on the inside while you look fine on the outside...Never judge what you don't understand."

I'm not sure who said the above quote, but I think it's fitting. This post may be a big jumbled mess, there's a lot on my mind, but I want to get it all out.

We went to a wonderful Autism Carnival a couple of weekends ago. It was a fabulous event put on by a great organization that supports causes like autism, cancer, etc... It was very "autism-friendly" with lots of sensory activities for the kids. My son spent most of his time in the bounce houses, especially the ones with big slides at the end. But as happy as the day was, it proved to be a giant eye-opener also. There was booth after booth with items for sale such as sensory toys and autism awareness bumper stickers, and others with information on therapy, safety, and support groups. I've been to many fairs before where there were booths (I secretly love them), but this time was different. I wasn't looking at candles, jewelry, housewares, or the "normal" things you might find at an outdoor event like this one, but things to help my autistic son, and us, deal with, well, living with autism! It hit both my husband and I that we have entered a new world, and this is now the kind of stuff that we look at and learn about. There is a whole new vocabulary to learn with words like...stimming, biomedical treatment, ABA therapy, sensory processing, Floortime, autistic rages........the list goes on and on and on. But we are dedicated to helping our son in any way possible. When we could tell our son was going to start melting down, we quickly headed for the car. But the excitement of the day was already too much and we listened to him scream the entire ride home. It was the first time that I have felt that heaviness for awhile, and I am preparing myself for another event coming up soon...

We decided to have our son tested by a pediatric psychologist for a full diagnosis. So far, his "labels" have been given to us by pediatricians and occupational therapists. He has gone through all three testing days (the first - just watching him play while interviewing us, the second - an IQ test where he had to put together puzzles, finish patterns, and match shapes, etc..., and the third where the psychologist got on the floor and played with him to see where his social and imaginative skills are. Actually, I guess this last test measures over 70 different areas), and my husband and I have filled out yet another mountain of paperwork. Well, we go back for all of the results next week. The doctor said to plan on at least an hour and a half...that's a lot of results to go over! We know that this will be the entire report about our son...which can include other things, not just his autism. It's one thing living it day after day, and another hearing it.

You know what, I think I will end this post here and start a new post, or 2, for my other "subjects." I promise I've got some good stuff to report also! But this feels like quite enough for now. By the way, my beautiful son is sitting next to me as I type playing games on the iPad (love that thing!) which he has started playing upside down (the iPad that is, not him.) :) Maybe I need to get his eyes checked too?!?!

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