I just found out that my DS3 is autistic. A high-functioning autistic person, but it's definately there. Through the whole diagnosis procedure and the debate and worry before he was diagnosed, I was the 'strong' one. I was the one saying, "It's no big deal, we will get him whatever help he may need. No worries" all with a smile on my face. My husband broke down in tears. My mother is constantly reassuring "me" that my DS is SO smart and so wonderful and there is nothing to be worried about. My sisters just said, "How sad." and "I thought so.". My MIL offered to buy "special" toys from a toy store meant for children with "special" needs. The diagnosis coming around the same time as my husband admitting that he no longer loves me the way he used to. He still loves me, but not in that extreme passionate way that I still love him. We have agreed to "start over" when he gets back from New Mexico in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, I am left alone to deal with all the new appointments to be made, all the applications to be put in to get the help, all the GODDAMN paperwork, all the new doctors, speacialists, counslerors, and everything else. Through it all, I have had a smile, a laugh, a brave game face. IM DONE! Inside, I'm sick. I'm sick with guilt. I'm sick with fear. I'm sick with anger. I'm sick with a sense of never ending fatigue. No one knows how I feel. My husband has some disorders of his own that make me have to be the strong one. I KNOW I don't want to tell my mother, who is the second closest person to me; I would hate her for the pity in her voice. I already "hate" her for continually reassureing "me" every single time I speak to her. I'm so exhausted. Emotionally, physically. I have no money or insurance to go to a doctor myself. I must be strong for both my boys. And my husband. There is literally no one in real life I can talk to for fear I will hate them for their reaction. I worry about my sons future. I worry if he will ever be "normal". I'm terrified he will have a childhood like mine. Never accepted. No true friends. I'm worried that all the things I have dreamed of for my baby will never come true. I'm afraid that I somehow made this happen. After all, I had three beers, two cigarettes, and smoked to bowls of marijuana when I was pregnant with him. I was 17. I no longer smoke ANYTHING. I was UNABLE to breastfeed him like I am his brother now. I feel like a failure. I feel......brittle. Like the smallest tug or twist is going to break me. I fear what will happen if I can't handle this. I know it really will be ok. I know that my son is smart. I know that he has a bright future ahead of him. And most importantly, I know that I love him just the same as I always have and always will. But, I also know that I need someone to know how I really feel. Even if I don't really know any of you on here, thank you so much for simply listening. Its been a tough couple of months. Its good to know, I'm not really alone. That I have a place to vent. That I have people who won't judge me for being weak. Just writing this has helped so much. Thank you Scary Mommy for being here when no one else could be.
ok 1s thing try and calm down hunny its going to be a LONG ride and you need to buckle up for it , hell with the game face , you're his #1 fan and always will be and with that you are also his advocate . if you feel something isn't right SAY IT, QUESTION IT , GET A SECOND OPINION ON IT , ( i write this in caps because noone ever told me how hard it could get as a single mother of a high functioning boy now 4-5 in july ) now breathe .... My son was diagnosed pdd-nos at 3yrs old , from then on he was also dx, odd and adhd as well , on top of that there was no support from anyone other than my boyfriend. it does get easier I promise , once you learn the ropes but please I beg you to NOT let these fools (family friends ect...) that have no idea what it's like walking in your shoes tell you how you should act with your child , or what your child may or may not need and especially discipline your boy... try not to let the dirty looks bother you from strangers and the comments like poor child because i'll tell you this much , my child is as well hf and there is nothing poor about him . he has friends although his speech hasn't always been good or even at one point he said barely anything until he was about 3 .. he now can get dressed on his own (with prompts) brush his own teeth , bathe himself , and ride a bike like all other kids his age ,now wih that being said he is the quirkiest child i have ever met but you have to find the joy in it , look for the things he excels in ( it will come with time and age ) and play off of it . for example : my son loves school and has a great memory , so on our way to school every morning (i drive) I have him give the directions to school . it helps him learn right from left wich he gets confused still but its 8 miles and he can get us there ... he likes it and seems to get a kick out of it as well and really seems to help his day go well ... little things will make and break a day for some kids ....! things will work out for you I swear ...!
if you need to talk please feel free to pm me or shoot me a message I'm here to talk if you need an online buddy with some of the same struggles in daily life !
also , try not to be hard on yourself , this happends to 1 in 80 children , be thankful he is alive and don;t think of the would have could haves and what if's , that alone will drive you nuts. sounds to me that you were given an autistic child because you would be the best mother for him not because you had a smoke of a bowl .! be easy on yourself hunny , this will be the best adventure you've ever had in your life , as soon as your willing to look at it that way ! its hard but nothing fun or worth doing isn;t hard at somepoint !
I understand how you are feeling. My daughter is PDD-NOS and we have known for about a year and a half. For the first 6 months her father was not able to process it. I felt like I was doing it on my own, defending her diagnosis to friends and family members. Then once I got my "Autism" legs I learned to stand up for my child and myself. I realized I didn't need to justify anything to anyone. I was her mother and I HAD to be her best advocate.
1. As hard as it is you have to take care of yourself. Find someone you trust to watch the kids even if only for an hour just you can think or not think. You are no good to your children if you burn out.
2. You now have to live day to day. As hard as it is you have to let go of what you dreamed for your child. It is ok, you will grieve, it is normal to be very upset.
3. Find some sort of support system. You took the first step by reaching out on here. Even if you only find one other Mom out there who has been in your boat it helps having someone who is a little further on the road of Autism. It is very overwhelming and having a person to vent to helps. Especially if it is someone who knows that like isn't normal. Autism Mama's know that!
4. Some good resources for info and support can be found through Autism Speaks (they have a newly diagnosis kit "first 100 days") and Autism Mom bloggers (one of my faves Diary of a Mom)
You are stronger than you realize but remember it is ok to cry, sometimes it helps.
I will warn you it took me almost a year to really feel confident in what I was doing but you will get there at whatever pace you do but one day you will wake up and know you are doing everything you can to make sure your child will be the best that he can be.
Our kids are like snowflakes, no two are the same but they are all beautiful and unique.
You an message me if you want. I am always available to help a mom in need.
Everyone here has given you great advice, better really than I can give, as my words are really second hand. My DH has a masters in special ed and works at an 'out of district" school; most of the kids at his school are dual diagnosis, with autism being the main diagnosis. His kids are unable to be serviced by inclusion in their own schools. He always says the two biggest things are to get early intervention, and get things in a child's IEP (Individual Education Plan). An IEP is a legal document stating what can and can not be done with/for your child in regards to their education and their care while under someone else's (not your) supervision.
Good luck with everything!!