Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Diagnosis... part 2

On this path of diagnosis we are on with Jack, I am having flashbacks to just before Liam was diagnosed. In particular the whole "Are you sure? Really? What makes you say that? he looks normal?". I am then put in a position to list all the 'strange' things that he's doing or the things he's not doing, but should. Which then leads to me feeling like I'm betraying my child by talking 'negatively' about them. I feel like a terrible person who judges my child and points out all their 'flaws'. But then I slap myself in the face (figuratively speaking of course) and say "You are trying to help your child by finding out what is happening and how to help". And that is what happened with Liam. I got him diagnosed early (6 months old) and we could get access to all the therapy and help we needed. I also had an answer to why he wasn't developing like 'normal' (yes, yes, I know... what is 'normal' anyway blah blah). But before that all important diagnosis I had people saying I was being a bit 'dramatic' suggesting he have Cerebral Palsy.. Yes I really wanted to create drama by trying to diagnose my child with CP. Pffft.
Now it's happening all over again. "You really think Jack has Autism? I don't see it"... Funny that, because people with Autism don't tend to wear a badge or a t-shirt saying that.. But I may look into that later. The worst part was people were trying to blame Jack's developmental delay and Autistic traits on Liam, oh and not just Liam, but more to the point ME! Ok I know I'm not the perfect mum (um nobody is... just putting that out there), and yes Liam needs more help than most children, but the thought that I had somewhat neglected Jack so he wouldn't talk or give eye contact etc, well that very much hurt me to the core. I played with Jack, I sang to Jack, I was a frigging clown for Jack!!! But I questioned that after people suggested my focussing on Liam caused Jack's problems. I fell apart at the end of last year when we started this journey. I felt sick to the stomach. I really pride myself on being a loving, caring and very present mum. And here was this possibility that I was the cause of Jack's delays and traits. Luckily after I hit rock bottom mentally about it, I picked myself up, dusted myself off and neglected the housework and then went to town on speech therapy with Jack. Looking back I KNOW I wasn't the cause, and neither was Liam. Jack was always a little different, I just didn't want to see that because I was so desperate for 'normal'. Denial, not just a river in Egypt they say.
People also offered up the idea that may be Jack was copying some of the kids we see every week through Liam's old playgroup. Jack can't even copy me, if you know what I'm saying. How does one copy: lack of eye contact? or certain stims ?
Another interesting thing is that when people question Jack having Autism it's almost as if they are saying it's an insult, like I'm calling him a 'dickhead'. Autism is a condition, it is not an insult. What is an insult is not getting help for my child. That's insulting to Jack as a human being. He has every right to the best chance in life, as does his brother Liam.
Oh dear I sound a bit ranty and vent like tonight... Sorry people, but it's something that's been playing on my mind and I really needed to get it off my chest. I promise next post will be a bit more light-hearted.. maybe.

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