Friday, September 21, 2012

A Bittersweet Day: My son has Autism

Today, Ephraim had his psychological evaluation.  In case you don't remember, we have been pretty sure for a long time that the results would be Autism Spectrum Disorder, but since every person with Autism is different, just as every person who doesn't have Autism is different, we couldn't be sure.  We wanted an evaluation done as soon as possible as we know how important it can be to start services early.  It took awhile, but we finally got the referral and the process started.

The two part observation was done prior to today and the information from that was sent to the psychologist.  Today, the psychologist asked us a million questions, observed Ephraim playing at the same time, and then did some of his own "testing" and interaction time with Ephraim.  Two huge thumbs up to both the psychologist and to Ephraim!  Dr. D (that is what I will call him) was great with Ephraim and you could see that he loves children and his job.  (He said he has evaluated over 6,000 children/teens!)  Ephraim did awesome.  He was his usual happy self, and allowed Dr. D to do a lot of things that we weren't sure he would allow.  E did push him away a few times, "complained" about a number of things, but all in all he handled the whole session (about 2.5 hours) very well. 

Dr. D explained at the end of the evaluation what he thought, but Eric and I weren't sure what he meant exactly so when he asked if we had questions I said I wanted clarification.  Dr. D had made it sound to us like he needed to score the test first but did see autistic tendencies in Ephraim.  When I repeated what I heard him say and asked if that meant he was going to be making his diagnosis after the scoring, he hesitantly said, "No.  My report will say that Ephraim has Autism Spectrum Disorder."  I asked about the hesitation and he explained that he didn't want to "blow us away" and Eric and I immediately told him not to worry about that!  We already knew it and were just glad to finally have the diagnosis. 

After we left, Eric and I talked about it.  We agreed it was a bittersweet day.  We are glad to finally have a diagnosis.  We are relieved even, as now we know that we can get the services he needs.   But, we are obviously saddened that we were right.  Part of me wishes that it was in our heads, but part of me doesn't.

I love my son just the way he is, and wouldn't change him for the world! 

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