Being the parent of a son with Autism, has at times, been incredibly difficult.
Yet for every hard moment, there have been just as many, if not infinitely more, jaw dropping-ly brilliant moments as well.
And I am thankful for that.
But along the way I have always sensed that awful feeling that I’m being judged as a mother.
That my son was being judged, first as a child, now as a teenager.
In a lot of respects I have always tried to push those feelings aside, as they are simply far too destructive and too hurtful to try to deal with on a daily basis.
Yes, in some ways I do advocate for the idea that ignorance is bliss (yes I know, generally a statement like this goes against everything I stand for).
However, right now I’m wondering whether or not that form of ignorance wasn’t simply more a bad case of bald-faced denial on my part?
Having to run head long again into the whole Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnostic process with my daughter is definitely dredging up some old and very unpleasant memories.
Memories that , no matter how hard I try, I just can’t make fit into the good old “ignorance is bliss” costume that they once wore.
That awful sense of being judged as a ‘bad mother’ who has somehow managed to turn a perfectly normal child into something slightly other, is back again.
The strange thing about all of this is, that I was honestly Okay with my own personal recognition that my daughter may well be an undiagnosed Asper Girl, after all I’d made concessions for her and up until her behavior started becoming increasingly violent, we were bumping along life’s path pretty well.
So what is it about having someone else, a pediatrician to be exact, tell me that my daughter may have AS, that has made me feel so small again?
Is it because I know that we are both about to go through endless rounds of testing ?
Endless rounds of answering inane questions about family history?
“Does anyone else in the family behave differently?” or “Is there a family history of Autism?”
…….. Gee…. let me think about that one……. Yes a matter of fact…. her brother has Autism….. cue music……
Somehow, when I think about it, the whole diagnostic process back then all seemed so much easier the first time around.
Though in point of fact it wasn’t.
It was actually quite horrendous.
But at least back then, I could say, “no, there’s no family history.”
Where as now, I can’t say that.
I’m not sure why, but for some reason, that one sticky little point, seems to be making all the difference as to how I feel about the journey my daughter and I are about to embark on.
Is it that there can be no more ignorance to hide behind now……?
Which, I guess, could explain why I’m finding it so hard to find any kind of bliss (ignorant or otherwise) while my daughter heads down the path toward receiving an official diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome.
I know it’s going to be hard for both of us to cope with all of the questioning and well-meaning interference that engaging with any kind of psychological assessment brings.
She knows it’s going to be hard because she already doesn’t want anything to do with it.
She’s so far into denial that if you looked the word up in a dictionary there’d be a picture of her right beside it.
Is her level of denial my fault?
No, I don’t think so. I’ve spoken to her about AS regularly.
We’ve read “Aspergirls” by Rudy Simone together and she acknowledges that she has some AS traits.
So the idea that she may have AS is nothing new to either or us.
And yet…. somehow…. we both seem to be so completely floored by it.
And for some odd reason, that old John Denver song, “Some days are diamonds, some days are stones”, just keeps running through my head on its own constant irritating loop of logic.
- High Functioning Autism in Females – Addressing the level of misdiagnosis reported by parents of daughters with Asperger’s Syndrome – High Functioning Autism (seventhvoice.wordpress.com)
- My Child’s Diagnosis Didn’t Give Me Depression! The SEN System Did That! (aspergersinfo.wordpress.com)
- Wales News: Autism diagnosis shatters Welsh family who go through ‘dark times’ dealing with Asperger’s (walesonline.co.uk)
- Asperger’s syndrome: A life changer (theage.com.au)
- Kathy Lette: Raising a child with Asperger’s is like putting together a giant jigsaw puzzle (metro.co.uk)
- 10 reasons for this blog’s existence… (autisticandproud.wordpress.com)
- 355: To the Professional (seventhvoice.wordpress.com)
- The Difference Between Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome (thesensoryspectrumblog.com)
- Warning of tragic outcomes in narrower criteria for autism (theage.com.au)