Whoa. This week though.
I put off this big post until after the appointment with the developmental pediatrician today. That was supposed to be yesterday. But, you know, insurance companies and their fancy referrals. Luckily, we were able to be seen today instead of waiting another week.
I was awake for hours on Monday night waiting for the first appointment, full of nerves. Then, last night I did it again. I don’t think I was afraid of a diagnosis of autism. I just didn’t know how I was going to take the professional opinion. I have had my own opinions, others have had theirs. But this would be it.
“I knew it from the minute you rolled the stroller in the door.”
We weren’t there five minutes and the soft-spoken doctor knew and said straight away that she was autistic. She was exhausted, being up from five in the morning. She was acting more like herself at home than the five minutes most doctors or friends on the street that we run into see her.
“She is autistic, definitely.” And he went back to typing away, preparing the file he would save her information under.
And I began weeping.
Two minutes. I wept. I looked at her. In two minutes, I felt the fear of the birthday parties children may or may not come to, the way she would come off to others as she grew, how she would speak to me when she finally could communicate. I saw faded burnt sienna photographs of a graduation or a wedding that may or may not happen, an empty rocking chair where I may or may not rock my grandchildren. For two minutes, I saw the possibilities and the uncertainties and I wept.
And then an unbelievable sense of calm reached out and put its hand upon my chest. All of that flip-flopping from one extreme to the other ceased and I couldn’t cry anymore. I took a breath, let it out, and watched the shadow that has consumed my body for 6 weeks creep underneath the door of the office and out of my life. I perked up and began to smile as I spoke to the doctor. Her achievements amplified themselves and the silly things she was doing with my mother made my laugh at certain intervals of our interview. I watched her stack the block towers and refuse to draw everything the doctor wanted her to a draw. She drew a kite instead and then worked intently on its tail and design. The doctor wanted a face. She gave the kite four eyes. Her creativity is astounding as she declared over and over “Kite!” because that is what she was feeling at the time.
She is on the high-functioning end of the spectrum. They don’t call it Asperger’s anymore but essentially that is what I have been saying all along. I have the paper now and I am more prepared than I have been to go into conversations with strangers, make a million appointments, ask the questions, and process the answers. I am at peace with where that paper will be taking us. As a good friend says about me, I am a “maniac” so I will get the specialists we need, the hours of therapy we need, and whatever else she will ever need. Can’t stop me now.
Acceptance has finally won and I am so proud of her. I meant what I said in an earlier post when I explained that she will never have to wear a mask. She will always simply be who she is and she is still the baby that I held in the hospital three and a half years ago. This went from feeling like an uphill battle to an intricate dance. The music will sometimes get louder and pick up speed. I will have to keep up. But it will be a beautiful dance, nonetheless.
Alyssa Adamson announces the birth of a baby girl with autism. Her name is Scarlett. And we are not alone. She is not alone here amongst friends and family who love her dearly. Who have been nothing but supportive.
And YOU, the autism parent who plugged in the keywords and found this post, are not alone because you have Scarlett and I. And all the other parents and children all over the world. All wired in their own way. Wired for greatness. Wired for divinity. Wired to be nothing but unique. Don’t forget that.