Well, it’s been a week since Moose was “diagnosed” with autism. I’m still not sure how I feel about it. On the one hand, I have so many issues with how the appointment was handled, how the doctor treated Moose, and how she questioned me, that I’m not inclined to take anything she said too seriously. The confirmation I’ve received from both his therapists that this is *not* how the appointment was supposed to go at all also has me reluctant to trust her opinion. On the other hand, I do know he has some problems (speech being my greatest concern) that need to be dealt with, and I’m also now hyper-paranoid–every time he does something unusual, I freak out, wondering if that’s more “proof” that’s there’s something seriously wrong.
So, I’m not really sure where I’m at with things. I’m meeting with our caseworker and a representative from the school district in two weeks, to discuss transitioning him into their special ed Pre-K program. I did learn that the doctor was 100% wrong about sending him full days, everyday–they don’t even offer that for someone his age. For right now, at least, I guess I’m OK with him going part days–he’ll be getting more speech and occupational therapy, and I know that will be good. I hope I don’t *have* to bus him there, because I’m very uncomfortable with that. I’d much rather drive him myself. Actually, I’d rather he didn’t have to go to preschool at all, because I’m no big fan of preschool (neither of my older two went because I’m so opposed to it–well, that and the whole homeschooling thing, but that’s kind of a new development), but I guess I’m going to have to view it more as therapy than as school.
For now, though, I know I do *not* want to start calling support groups and doing research and ordering resources. Maybe this makes me a bad parent; maybe it suggests that I’m in denial. But even if this diagnosis of autism does “stick” with him, I don’t want that to become all we’re about. No offense to anyone who does choose to put their focus there, but I’ve seen parents who put all of their efforts into learning about causes (all the anti-vax folks), trying to raise awareness (mostly to not vax), using scare tactics, only hanging out with other families who have this diagnosis. Maybe that’s fine for them, but that’s not who we are. I have three other children, besides the fact that we are more than Moose’s diagnosis. I just want to keep living our lives the way we have been, while getting him the help he needs. I certainly don’t need a new group of friends who are dealing with the same things–I just need friends. People who knew us before this word changed our lives, and who won’t treat us any differently than they have been.