We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started, And know the place for the first time. ~T.S. Eliot Four Quartets

06 December 2007

Denial or Acceptance?

Why didn't we take our son in for an assessment sooner? He's seven now. Why didn't we? I don't know. The doctor asked yesterday.. well he asked if we had noticed anything when he was younger and had we mentioned it to a doctor. Yes and No.

Perhaps it was some deep denial. I had an acquaintance who suggested to me that my son was somewhat autistic at age two, and I quietly but quickly cut her out of my life. She was not an expert in anyway, nor did she have any personal experience, so I felt she was judging my son unfairly. At the time he wasn't talking alot, not as much as the kids in his small play group, and definitely not as much as her daughter. He liked the other mothers in the group, but not her. I think he sensed her judgement, or the fact that she was looking at him to see 'what was wrong' instead of as a little boy. And now of course I cringe at the thought that perhaps she was right, perhaps she saw what I as a new mother could not or did not want to see.

My son never did well in groups, always running off and doing his own thing, never really wanting to sit still, except when I read to him, but we took that as high-spirited, strong willed, etc. But he is loving, not destructive, affectionate and was reading at age 6. If he hadn't started school, I'm not sure we would've changed anything at all. Denial, maybe a bit. I think we accepted him for who he is. The fact that we will not be medicating him no matter what the diagnosis, means that not much will probably change in him. I do think though, that any help in terms of therapy for him, a support group for us might be a good thing. Since we are fairly isolated and don't really get any practical support from family (mine in America, and his about an hour away) it would be good to meet other people in a similar situation. Of course my son as of right now doesn't think he has a problem, its everyone else! Though he did say yesterday that he's tired of being left out and feeling like no one understands him at school.

The doctor didn't have much to say really. He said he will refer us somewhere, I think its family psychiatry instead of psychology which is what we met with last week. I can see now how it is that its taken some people years to obtain a proper diagnosis. What a convoluted time wasting system this is. So now we wait, again.


andrea said...

It took years to really see the aspie qualities of my kid, partly from unfamiliarity, and partly because in a geeky family like ours ... most of those qualities are "normal". Not until the teen years did the social issues, the APD issues, and ADHD-related educational issues really become unavoidable. The tics went away after several years, as happens sometimes. But I think there was less "denial" as unawareness and a sense of internal normalcy: "this is just the way we are".

Mary said...

Yes I can see that too, about the lack of awareness. My son's behaviour is getting slightly more eccentric but even though his great uncle has aspergers no one in the family even suggested this for our son, even now, they seemed surprised that he might have ADHD..