“After analyzing the results of your questionnaires, there were two areas that stood out as areas of concern. As you’ve mentioned, the high activity and lack of focus are in line with possible ADHD. There also seem to be quite a few issues that relate to social interaction and development, which is very consistent with a diagnosis of Autism.”
The blow to my chest came as a surprise. She was the first person to suggest, in any real way, that A could have autism. This is what I’ve been suspecting for such a long time and the possibility that A falls on the mild end of the autism spectrum was something that was becoming a regular part of my thoughts and my conversations with other people. I was not expecting to feel so stunned, so winded, and so unprepared.
A could have Autism.
I pushed for all the appointments and investigations because I knew something just wasn’t quite right. I know he’s the “weird kid.” I know he doesn’t do things the way other kids do. I thought it would feel good to know that there is an explanation for it all. I thought I was worried that everyone would say he’s normal and I would be left to figure out on my own how to deal with all the behaviour problems on my own. I thought hearing someone else confirm my suspicions would bring me a sigh of relief.
I was wrong. The way my breath got caught in my throat at the sound of that word suddenly made me know that I was completely wrong. I drove home with my little man in the back seat, completely oblivious to the significance of the last two hours he spent playing with “that lady.” Thoughts raced through my mind: what will school look like? Will he have friends? Will he be included in everything else? Will he have a first love? Will he experience life the way I did – the way I assume that everyone else does?
I know that I’m getting ahead of myself. I know a lot can change over the years. I know that he doesn’t even have the diagnosis yet. And, I know that even if he does get the diagnosis, there’s nothing wrong with that. When I woke up today, I was the only one who believed that maybe, just maybe, autism was an explanation. But hearing it come from someone else’s mouth – I just wasn’t expecting a confirmation of my beliefs to be so scary.