Like most of you who have had a child diagnosed with ASD, my families journey was a struggle.
Before the diagnosis, I felt desperate and confused. One minute my son seemed so “normal” and the next minute he was melting down because he could not tie his shoes!
I distinctly remember one outing to Kohl’s where we had to leave a pile of shoes in the middle of the isle and run for the door, it was that bad.
My son on the spectrum is my oldest child, and it took a long time for me to realize that what I was experiencing was not typical parenting.
I kept comparing myself to others and wondered why they thought this parenting gig was so pleasurable. I was in a constant state of upset – angry at myself for not doing it better, angry with my spouse for not helping me, and worried sick about how my child would turn out!
I tried to work harder to do what seemed to work for my neighbors and friends with their kids, to follow the advice I got from them and from other experts, but I couldn’t ever make it work.
“I thought perhaps I was just failing at parenting…Maybe I didn’t have the “mother” gene…”
I thought perhaps I was just failing at parenting. I knew I was relatively smart, and educated, how could I be failing so miserably with this child I loved so much. Maybe I just didn’t have the “mother” gene, I concluded. One thing I knew for sure, I did not know what to do to raise this child into a healthy and confident human being,
I took him to a psychologist, but therapy wasn’t working. He was becoming more agitated, angrier, and more difficult to manage, and I was becoming more worried, discouraged and afraid.
I didn’t know what to do ….
Finally we got a tentative diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome, couched with the comment from the psychiatrist not to panic when I look it up on the internet and see it listed under the umbrella of Autism. The diagnosis wasn’t even given with any assurance, just an “I suspect…” and a wish for good luck as I got handed the check out paperwork.
Even pursuing that tentative diagnosis, the right help was hard to find.
Good help is still hard to find. So many of the therapists and educators out there don’t have a clue how to work with someone on the autism spectrum and get results.
Often families get little or no help in spite of making a huge time and dollar commitment.
We are Here to Help
Finding the right sources for support and therapy for our child and for ourselves is really important. The right source of help will not only help your child in ways that you can see, but they will help make you feel better, too.
You are not alone! There is a path of success that others have walked before you toward a more effective and functional life for your child with ASD and for yourself!
If you are not currently getting the results and reassurance from your sources of support, try another avenue!
Especially as your child becomes a teenager or young adult. At the National Autism Academy we have the experience to support your child and your family in finding answers.