Friday, April 20, 2007

Denial is a Happy Place

Some days are hard.

I'm new to this whole autism thing. New to PDD-NOS vs. Asperger's. New to IEP meetings and worrying about diagnosis.

Jack, who is still the same wonderful little guy he was a month ago before it seems like everyone who has ever met him agreed with my assertion that he just might have Asperger's or something similar, is scheduled next week for a screening with the county early childhood disabilities unit. Afterwards, we'll be participating in an IEP meeting, something I heard about for the first time in the letter from the screeners. Then, later that same night, I happened upon this and this, as well as various other sources, that have started to freak me out.

I know it's early. Hell, Jack may not even be on the spectrum, but all I know is everyone, bar none, has told me I need to be his advocate. And, Jesus, I only get the kid's teeth brushed in the morning about 25% of the time, so how can I ensure that he gets the education, socialization, counseling, and/or therapy that he needs? It's so overwhelming; with so much information out there, how do I know what is right, or right for us? I guess that's why I chose a book whose title starts with "The Complete Guide to..."

Alex thinks I'm overreacting a little. He looks at Jack and sees all the wonderful, positive things about the guy. He sees him making progress, and feels optimistic. He, through no fault of his own, sees him about 50% of the amount of time I see him. But even Alex knows there is something different about Jack. He made the title comment about Jack. He knows there is work to be done, but I don't think he has the trepidation I have.

I see all the wonderful things about Jack too, but I also see difficulties in his future. Difficulties making friends and socializing is something Until-Recently Jean shares with him. I was host to a crippling shyness for most of my life, which, through the help of some nice (although weirdly enough, psoriasis-inducing--but that's another post) medication and some work on my part, has, thank God, dissipated. But I remember, and it can be a painful thing.

I realized today that I am more worried about this than I have let on, even to myself. Jack had a meltdown at preschool drop-off because I rushed a transition, and he was crying hysterically when I walked away. Shortly thereafter, I was crying as well. A month ago I don't think I would have had that reaction.

He was fine ten minutes later. I was not.

There is a long road ahead of us. We have taken a branch that I didn't expect to take; there are many more branches ahead of us, good and bad, just like for anybody else. I'm sure there will be more tears--as there are on any road involving a mother and child--but I have to remember that there will be much joy as well.

Wish us luck on our travels.


  1. This is both heartbreaking and optimistic. You and Alex are doing so much for little Jack, no matter what/how much he needs. He is the most lovely little guy and he has the best famiy! And I want to do anything I can. I love all of you! Y.M.

  2. Of course we wish you luck! But more than that -- we will travel them with you. Jack is one of the most wonderful little guys I've ever met. . . so trusting, and so good at "pretend." My Widget loves to play with him, and has been asking for the last few days to "go see Jack. and Quinn." Jack is a great little dude, and you all will be just fine!

  3. Frogwoman and Duncleoug are here for you, too.


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