Thursday, March 24, 2011

the signs

It's funny, how there is really not one particular sign. No matter how much information you read, look at on billboards or see on television. There is not one thing that tells you my son is autistic. It is a collection of signs. Many of those signs may seem insignificant by themselves, but when you add them all up, they mean something else. There is not one autistic child that is the same.

Last summer, while I was attending a class, a fellow student of mine was having a rough evening. How the whole conversation started, I cannot remember now, but she was seeing signs in her preschool son. I told her about what we went through only a year before. I remember not realizing till that moment how long it had been. I am sure that night I seemed like a pro. I was calm and confident. I was ok. She wanted to know every step we had taken. Every doctor we had seen. What was said. How we handled it. How Ollie is now. My fellow student was a preschool teacher herself and was aware of many of the things I was talking about, but it all seemed new to her too, or a little unreal maybe. She was describing the signs that her son was showing to me. All I could tell her was that Ollie didn't have any of those signs and of course her son didn't have any of Ollie's signs. What I did do was explain to her how everything happened. What to expect. How many doctors we had seen and from what she told me, she was on the same track and doctors that we saw. I think I helped her a little that night. She seemed a little more at ease when we were leaving. I hope I did help her a little. I could only remember how confusing that time had been for me. In some ways that time was a short time ago, and in other ways it had seemed a very long time indeed. Oh, and yes, her son did have autism to.


  1. It is so great that you were able to provide this mom with some support! Nothing can prepare you for how you react to the diagnosis. Nothing. I have a Master's in Education and took a special ed class, but I felt like I was hit by a truck in my son's first IEP meeting. Every time the teacher or therapist said "special ed" I wanted to cry. What helped me was that my son's speech therapist came to the meeting with me and she comforted me afterwards. She understood how I felt (one of her kids needed speech therapy) and just validated me. I'll be so grateful to her and others like her who have helped me in this journey.

  2. Oh my goodness, I love this blog, its giving me chills as I read it! Keep on keepping on!


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