By: Amy Dienta
Since Omar was one, we realized something was going on with his development. He didn’t talk and only made this car noise. He was very particular in how he drove his car and made these circles of perfectly lined up cars.
We called early intervention, and Omar started working with a developmental specialist. One day, we met with her and she told me to make an appointment with a developmental pediatrician. The appointment we made was over 6 month away and Omar still wasn’t speaking.
September finally came and he had an initial appointment and testing. At the testing I knew something was wrong. I knew Omar didn’t do what he was asked to do. I knew that after the test that he would be diagnosed.
The day of the next appointment, I went by myself to meet with the doctor. I knew what she was going to say. It didn’t make me feel better knowing. This boy who I carried for nine months, who sleeps close to me every night, and who, at the age of three, was finally calling me “mom,” has autism spectrum disorder.
After that the doctor printed the diagnosis and the letter for the school, I went on my way to work. But when I got there, I could not function. My brain was trying to process what I had just heard. How would I get Omar the help he needs? What help does he need? And how do we pay for it all?
Every day I dig through a pile of paperwork, make phone calls and attend school meetings, just trying to figure out what to do. Omar needs to get help, to get more therapy and to figure out what he can accomplish.
It’s been a little over a week now and I’m still not sure I’m ready for this. I may not ever be ready, but for Omar I must fight on. I must fight to get him the help he deserves.