As many of you may already be aware, we’ve been waiting a very long time for Zak’s autism diagnosis. Can I just start by saying, his Father has been amazing throughout the whole journey, following up appointments, emailing the paediatricians, keeping me updated and generally, pushing for the diagnosis for our son.
This morning, just after the school run I received a phone call from the paediatrician that had taken over Zak’s diagnosis journey last year. She had a gentle voice right from the start, and kept checking if it was okay to talk. That’s when I knew it was diagnosis time. She ever so delicately told me that after a meeting recently about Zak, they have confirmed that he does indeed, have autism.
Now, while I knew this was coming, it was so strange to hear. It was like the weight had been lifted and suddenly dropped back onto my shoulders. I suddenly felt guilty and motivated at the same time. We FINALLY have the diagnosis – so why do I feel so bad? I still have a lot to learn about what’s going on in Zak’s mind, and how to handle certain situations. And I guess, I wish that I could take it all away from him and stop the struggle that he faces each day. He’s already such a strong character, and faces new challenges head on and with a smile.
Autism isn’t something that should be a problem and in fact, some of the greatest minds in our world have autism.
Needless to say it’s been a very emotional day and yet I sit here looking at him fast asleep in his bedroom and he’s none the wiser. I want to be strong for him so that on his bad days he can feel safe and secure here with me. I want to understand what is aggravating him, and what scares him so that I can make it all better for him.
So I guess what I’m after is some advice from people who have been in the same situation as me and Zak. How can I learn and provide for his autistic needs? What steps should I be taking now to help him in every way that I can? I’d love to hear from and chat to other parents like me!