My daughter is being diagnosed for autism and I need help dealing with this.
April 23, 2012 6:58 AM Subscribe
I've recently discovered that my daughter is, at least in some form, autistic. I'm having a little trouble coping with this revelation and I'm feeling a bit lost about how to go forward.
posted by WinnipegDragon to health & fitness (32 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Pardon me if I vent, and this becomes lengthy, but I need to clear my head about this and see if I can get some advice from other parents or adults that have gone through this.
At this point, my wife and I are dealing with a preliminary evaluation but this is just confirmation of something we have always suspected. We still need a thorough diagnosis by a developmental Psychologist but we are in the process of getting that referral now. Having said that we've had time with the staff at her school and our family doctor, and almost all of the red flags are there: spinning, hand flapping, social anxiety, meltdowns over changes to schedule, picky eating, poorly developed gross motor skills, echolalia...
Having said that, she is a brilliant kid. She's 6, but was reading by age 3, and is now reading at a grade 4 level. Her writing and math skills are miles ahead of the rest of her class and her teacher tells us that she has never had to be 'taught' anything. She attaches emotionally and can understand some social cues. She's fully functional although things like riding a bike and putting on socks take a long time to learn with a lot of repetition. I assume that she will be on the high-functioning/Asperger's side of the spectrum.
The last week, I've been a wreck. I know that she will be fine, things could be a lot worse, and she still has a long happy life ahead, but I am having trouble dealing with a few things.
First, I can't help but feel like somehow my daughter has been taken away from me and 'replaced' by someone different. When I see her and watch her behaviour I don't just see 'her' I see signs of this disorder and I hate feeling this way. I know it's unreasonable and irrational but I just want 'her' back. Ignorance was bliss in this case and I don't know how to move past this. It's killing me that it feels like there is something foreign there now, and it's 'hurting' her.
Second, I don't know how long it will take to go through the full diagnosis/evaluation process and get us to the point where we can develop some coping strategies for her. I want to help her now and not wait. All of the books I've read, however, basically tell you that no two cases of autism are the same and that you have to develop strategies that work for your child. What are some things that my wife and I can do, starting today, to help her?
Finally, I am just so worried about her future. This is natural, I know, but I keep thinking about how school was for me (not good) and I don't want her to spend the next ten to fifteen years dealing with the hell that is other kids. It's a big bleak cloud that's been hanging over me. No one wants anything bad to happen to their kids but I'm already halfway to breaking down whenever I talk about it.
I could really use a little advice and perspective from anyone that has gone through this before. I need to get past this and get on with helping my daughter.