Notice in the title it says “disorders” and not “disorder.” For those that know me best, this is not a blog about my aversion to anything disorganized or out of order. Instead, this blog is about a frustration and a fear that I have written or hinted about before.
To sum up his past, my little big boy, now seven, has had a history of teachers and specialists suspecting him of having autism. He was tested by his doctor at the age of 4 and by a team of professionals at his school when he was 5. Everyone agreed that he exhibited some symptoms on the autism spectrum but was not “technically” autistic.
When I thought he could potentially be autistic, the first thing I did was…nothing. I was afraid that if I researched it I would think only the worst or get confused about what my next move should be. I left it up to the experts to tell me the fate of my child and I realize now that maybe that wasn’t the best way to handle things.
I took their word that he was “fine” and decided not to worry anymore. I was so fearful of how future teachers or friends or institutions would treat him if he had any sort of label on him. Now I see that my own fear for him could have possibly hindered his progress.
There aren’t any overly big signs of anything being “wrong.” He has friends, loves to laugh, and enjoys every facet of his life. But there are little things that I have seen but chosen to ignore in hopes that he is just going through a phase. Little things that I tell him he shouldn’t do, for fear someone will talk about him if he did them in public. I make him only do them in the house so as not to raise any red flags. I am just now realizing that in forcing him to hide a piece of himself, I may also be inciting shame. Being a mommy is all about learning to do the best for your children, and it is not without its mistakes.
Punishments are not the answer. Spankings are not the answer. And I am tired of waiting for a teacher to call me with yet another report and I am tired of constantly reminding him not to do certain things. It’s not fair to him and it is draining on me.
So, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I am going to look deeper into autism with a special focus on Asperger’s syndrome. I am going to meet with a specialist and figure out the best way to deal with his behaviors. I will not subject him to any more testing until I figure out, for myself, what’s going on. I will be the advocate my son needs and I will fight for him and with him to make sure he gets what he needs. I will not allow my own fear to stop him from being himself or stop me from celebrating everything that makes him special.