By: Amy Dienta
The other day I took my 4-year-old for a physical. Everything went well, and I talked to the doctor about all the normal kid things and all the normal autism things I talk to him about. As we were leaving, the office staff handed me a summary of his visit, which I never looked at until later.
I was in the car on the way home, and when I stopped at the light, it caught my eye. The summary had my son’s medical problems listed. In BIG BOLD letters, it clearly said Autism and speech apraxia. I know that he has autism. I know that’s who he is. I know it has to be in his chart. But it suddenly hit me like a ton of bricks.
I’ve accepted the diagnosis, and I have accepted the struggle we are always going to have in dealing with it. Yet this one line on one piece of paper set me back to square one. All these thoughts came back. What else can I do to get him more help? Is he getting enough help? Will he ever have a productive future? Will people ever be able to understand him when he talks?
As I looked at him, sound asleep in the car seat in the backseat of the car, I couldn’t help but wonder if I am doing enough? Is he is getting all the help he can get? What I do know is that he has come so far since he has been diagnosed. He is talking a lot! When he started all this therapy, he only had 10 words. Now, he has full sentences. He can write his name and knows his numbers.
I guess, the worst part of your child having autism is not knowing if you are doing enough or if you are doing too much. Not knowing how his day went so the school sends you home a binder with info such as how many times he used the bathroom, because he cannot tell you he did.
A lot of this parenting stuff is guessing and hoping you made the right decision.