Do you know how hard it is to get a diagnosis of autism?
People assume you just “want to have a diagnosis” or that you’re looking for a “yuppie” condition. And the child or adult looks normal to other people so what’s the need for saying they have this condition?
Now, if you have cancer or arthritis or a heart condition or another general condition, they wouldn’t tell you that you “just” wanted a name to this. They would expect (as would you) that there would be help and support while you have the condition.
However, autism is not seen in this regard.
I will admit that autism doesn’t always require medication as other conditions do. Now you could be fortunate NOT to have a child on the spectrum that has no sense of safety with themselves or others. If they are like this, you may have to buy either larger pushchairs or an actual wheelchair for your child or adult.
And there are other complications that can arise. For example, people who are on the spectrum often don’t sleep well. This can be extremely disruptive to the family and other people they come into contact with.
So often there are needs that should be taken into consideration. Once a diagnosis of autism is obtained you can get help for all these complications. And even if they are high functioning and have a seemingly good knowledge of a language, mostly they are unable to understand or express their feelings. This negatively impacts their need for medical help.
I love my son dearly, but he has complications that are invisible to you when you see him.
If you saw him, you would think everything is ok.
But I can tell you it isn’t. Luckily, he has been able to access more help and support after his diagnosis than we could before. And this makes a massive impact on our family life. It is so much easier with the support we have both received already. And we will need to access in the future.
We have been really blessed because Johnathan has been able to have a year split placement before going into school proper. And this has actually meant that he will be able to enter a smaller normal school and I am so delighted! Everyone wants their child to be able to go into the normal educational process. But not all parents have the opportunity to have this happen.
So many parents do not want to admit their child needs a diagnosis.
Maybe they don’t want to admit that their child has a problem. Or maybe it’s because of the stigma that is attached to the condition. There could also be other reasons for it. Personally, I knew in his first week of life. In my heart, although I didn’t want it to be true, I didn’t want it to be. In fact, once he WAS diagnosed I struggled with it even though I had known it – much to my surprise.
Please, when you meet a parent whose child is going to be or has been diagnosed with autism, treat them with compassion and kindness. You don’t know what they deal with in their daily lives and it is not an easy thing to either acknowledge or accept. If you do want to know, let them talk. Be there for them. But please, whatever you do, don’t condemn them but listen to thing they would like to share with you.