Saturday, March 19, 2016

Diagnosis

I went back to school in 2010 to become a special education teacher. I had been a bank manager before I decided to pursue a Master of Arts in Education. I believe that there had to have been some divine intervention in regards to why I decided to pursue a teaching certificate with an endorsement in special education. I began to get extremely interested in autism during my first year in school. My interest led me to purse a part-time job in applied behavior analysis. This interest eventually made me decide that I wanted to spend my student teaching experience in an autism classroom. At this time my middle son had not been diagnosed with autism. My experience in the autism classroom made me begin to question some of the behaviors that me son began exhibiting. For example, he had a speech delay, he had huge melt downs, transitions were a complete nightmare, he flapped, and he had sensory issues. In addition, my little guy also struggled with sustained attention and executive function issues. My suspicions eventually led to multiple doctor appointments. Initially, I was told not to worry... This led me to worry more about my little guy. I was completely aware that all two year old children have joint attention issues, but from my perspective, my kiddo was experiencing difficulties that extended way beyond what you would consider typical for a two year old. Eventually, the pediatrician began to hear me as my child aged. First, it was ADHD, and finally when my son was 3 1/2 years old the pediatrician finally agreed with me that a referral should be made to a developmental pediatrician. At the initial appointment with the developmental pediatrician, I came armed with a huge binder of everything that I had tried that ranged from developmental preschool to speech and occupational therapy. I told the developmental pediatrician that I wanted to be referred to a neuro psychiatrist so that an ADOS could be administered. I wanted the Gold Standard when it came to evaluating my son for autism. The developmental pediatrician was highly suspicious that my son had autism just after an initial appointment, but he agreed that the ADOS would be the best instrument to use when looking at whether or not my son had autism. Due to the title of my blog, you are probably already aware that my son did in fact end up getting diagnosed with autism. Six months later he also got diagnosed with ADHD. From what I hear, many families experience intense sadness after a child is diagnosed with autism. This is not the emotion that I felt... I felt relief. I felt this way, because now my son could get the therapy that he desperately needed. I knew that my child had autism at two years old. I had accepted this diagnosis way before it was given by a medical professional. I had reached a point that I wanted to do everything in my power to make life easier on my son, and this was not possible without a diagnosis. I love my son for who he is. He is the light of my life, and I have made it my mission in life to advocate for his needs and also for all of the other kids with an autism diagnosis around the world!

14 comments:

  1. Yes I understand what you are saying about being an advocate for your child. I had 3 with the diagnosis of autism. I am glad you are a teacher in the field. Thank you

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have a child who is mildly autistic with adhd also. You said you had info on IEP's? Would love any experience you have had.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Can totally relate with your experience & your outlook having a 12yr old son with ADHD/ASD/ODD & dyslexia & my 11yr old just recently diagnosed with autism.I think as a mother you should follow your instincts, you know your child & you know when something is not right. Thanks for sharing your story:-)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Can totally relate with your experience & your outlook having a 12yr old son with ADHD/ASD/ODD & dyslexia & my 11yr old just recently diagnosed with autism.I think as a mother you should follow your instincts, you know your child & you know when something is not right. Thanks for sharing your story:-)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I think that they should send all teachers, police, social workers, counselors and hospital people to some classes so they can learn how to take care of autistic kids! I have a 13 yr old in ,8th grade and he has a lot of problems with his peers and the school doesn't know how my son really is with aspergers and ADHD and I'm always fighting for him because I love him so much!!! Ty for all you do for other kids with autism, Now maybe since a parent who knows all about this can finally help and teach others!!! Thanks again

    ReplyDelete
  6. I think that they should send all teachers, police, social workers, counselors and hospital people to some classes so they can learn how to take care of autistic kids! I have a 13 yr old in ,8th grade and he has a lot of problems with his peers and the school doesn't know how my son really is with aspergers and ADHD and I'm always fighting for him because I love him so much!!! Ty for all you do for other kids with autism, Now maybe since a parent who knows all about this can finally help and teach others!!! Thanks again

    ReplyDelete
  7. I so relate to your relief instead of sadness at the diagnosis. After 5 years, 3 evaluations,and a speech study my youngest was diagnosed in the middle of 7th Grade. I was reassured by the psychologist that my laughter was relief because I knew what I had been looking at all along.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wow, I stumbled across your blog looking for a Karate class that caters to kids with ASD. I too am a teacher, I too knew my son was somewhere on the spectrum. However, when he was officially diagnosed this year before his 7th birthday...I experienced a great deal of depression. I love my son dearly, but I struggled with the idea of his life being so much harder now that he would be dealing with Autism. Reading your blog is really inspiring and informative. I immediately started therapies and am patiently waiting on several waiting lists for ABA therapies. Please continue to share your story it is very powerful and confronting....our stories are soooo similar it made me just smile....frI'm the early intervention to getting a special education certificate...mind blowing. Thanks again and God bless you and your family:) Sincerely 1 Autism mom to Another:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Diary of an Autism MomJune 24, 2016 at 8:39 PM

      I am so glad that you found my blog. The journey can be challenging, but things do get easier. Please feel free to message me if you ever have any questions. The best place to reach me is on facebook.
      www.facebook.com/diaryofanautismmom

      Delete
  9. Thank you for liking my page. You and my mother have a very lot in common. I will go to your page and "like" it. I hope you will visit mine often

    ReplyDelete
  10. Finding this made my heart happy. My daughter was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome at the age of 7. I was relieved also for the same reasons. You know when something is just a little different with your child. our biggest struggle has been everyone wanting to play the blame or denial game in our families which has caused alot of grief and stress between my husband and I so much that I feel my daughter is not receiving the help that she so desperately needs and deserves to be successful. Please post more along your journey.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I have been touched by your story. My 6 yr old son was diagnosed in February. It's been a struggle with the school and local authority to get help. Trying to explain to family & friends has been difficult, we need more awareness!
    I am feeling low as its

    ReplyDelete
  12. y son just turned 6. He was diagnosed with asd when he was 4 yrs old, and recently diagnosed with adhd. His psychiatrist said this is the worst case of adhd she has seen in her over 20 yr career. I reluctantly put him on medicine, and since have been questioning that decision now seeing undesirable, saddening behavior resulting from the medicines. I have no support system, no services for him, and am a 43 yr old disabled single parent trying to find my way and be the best advocate I can for him. So far the journey has become very lonely, I have found myself isolating because of the lack of understanding people have, and not having support resources :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mari, don't give up on the medications. I know it's difficult but be persistent. If I hadn't been persistent, my son never would have gotten his ASD diagnosis. He was finally diagnosed at 15. We have had to try multiple different medications until b we found the right combination. It's frustrating but c it's worth it in the long run for your child.

      Delete