Since Danny was diagnosed with high functioning autism over a year ago, I have wrestled with denial.
On good days, days where Danny is superbly cooperative and pleasant and easygoing, I wonder, could Dr. M have made a mistake? Did I maybe answer some questions incorrectly? Could Danny actually just have severe SPD which looks like autism? Is there a chance he's been misdiagnosed?
Most days, our regular days, you know, the days where even the most mundane aspects of our day (eating, dressing, using the toilet) are a struggle?
Those days I have less difficulty believing that Danny does indeed have autism.
Still, the doubt has lingered and I vacillate between wondering about the accuracy of his diagnosis and being mostly convinced of its validity.
While at our local ice cream stand, we ran into a classmate of Danny's from last year. Claire greeted Danny excitedly, but until I prompted him, Danny said nothing. He was excited to see her, however, and launched into a one-sided conversation from several yards away. He could tell she wasn't listening, but it was obvious he had no idea wh
at to do about it.
It didn't occur to Danny to come closer to Claire so she could actually hear him. He didn't say her name so she would realize he was talking to her, nor did he realize that asking her a question could ensure she was part of the conversation. And never in a million years would he recognize that the topic of LEGOs is not necessarily everyone's idea of a scintillating conversation subject.
The result? A very one-sided, unsuccessful interaction. In fact, "interaction" isn't even a valid definition of what took place, as no interacting happened at all.
It almost broke my heart, mostly because it was obvious how much he wanted to connect with Claire. He made attempt after attempt to engage her, but until I guided them both a bit, his attempts fell completely flat.
As I sat there and watched Danny try to interact, it hit me like those huge anvils in a Roadrunner cartoon. Danny does have autism. There's really no denying it.
The certainty took my breath away.
My son, my wonderful, loving, funny boy has autism.
No more denial to buffer me from reality; autism is now our reality.
And I think I'm ok with that.
More or less.
But that doesn't mean I've given up. I'm still going to do whatever it takes to help my son as he navigates this treacherous world we live in.
Please take a minute of your time and vote for my Lego Social Club project on Pepsi Refresh. I'm applying for a grant to fund my training and supplies to start this awesome social skills group in our town for kids on the spectrum or those who have any social developmental delays.
Danny can't wait to get started and neither can I!
And we need your help!
Click here to vote!