About seven weeks ago,my son,I didn’t birth him but my mother birthed his mom and I so that makes him mine,finally got a diagnosis for what we didn’t understand for all of his little almost four years.
We knew he was different from get go. Loud noises were a no no,and my he scares easily and he is touchy feely and absolutely loves hugs and touches where toddler boys are off running from all of it,a bigger than would be normal head and a late speech,no word in all of full three and a half years. One thing though,understands and executes instruction to the tee.
I wasn’t worried. Mother and his mom were. Children are different, I said. Still they insisted he gets checked. I delayed this,on purpose.
The tests took a bit of time,with some bookings done for months ahead,thanks to government institutions.
“He is autistic”!
Mother and I had been sitting across from this pediatric doctor a little over three minutes as he went through the results after we were ushered in. He looked up as he said this,taking both our reactions in.
We both sighed,but to the extreme ends of feeling. Mine was relief,mother’s was worry. I took her hand in mine under the table.
“Isn’t it better if we know what we have in our hands mother?” I looked at her and held her gaze. She dotes this little human.
“I agree” the doctor says “and frankly this is manageable and kinder than what we had thought it was at the beginning!” They had given a misdiagnosis of sorts that included early death even. Remembering it’s name always proves hard,I think I shoved it to the ‘never to open again shelf’ at the back of my mind.
“What does this mean doctor?” mother.
“It means a lot of things,but what I normally say and want to think about it and tell most parents is,it essentially means,love me different,love me gentle,love me quieter!”
“Will he ever talk?” I smiled as she asked this. This had been mother’s biggest worry about the child.
“With therapy yes. It may take a bit of time but his isn’t severe so,talk he shall,with aid and therapy of course.
Autism is a spectrum disease and can be mild or severe and there is no particular and set out right cure or medicine for it and it’s different from child to child. Although some traits are common no one child has the same symptoms or traits that are exact to another’s and each are special to a child. You can not compare autistic children and neither can you gauge development of another by the other. They are just that,special and need special care and attention. They need especially love because they’re lovers through and through. They may be little reminders of how we must love one another, something we could have known but have forgotten as we’re churned in the bucket of life”
I smiled at all of this. I thought to myself,do I even need to google and research all of what autism is or will I for now run with this and love and hold my son instead? Of course eventually with everything going I would need the technicalities and facts on autism to help him through life but for now,at four,I can love and hold him gently through toddler life.
“Each autistic child has one tremendous gift and that can be anything. Find Legakwa’s and nurture it.” He added.
It gets better,I thought.
At this point a friend’s child with amazing drawing talent comes to mind. He also makes intricate miniature creatures with clay that can almost jump to life. Another I saw of a fellow blogger hits me,the mother calls him the number monster. He crunches numbers and arithmetic in ways not known of a nine year old. Natalie is four,and has been reading books backwards since she was about two,her mother always says on their YouTube channel. It’s not all gloom and dready on autism lane,if only I can get my mother to believe this. But maybe if we get the son to a speech therapist quick enough she will believe he is alright when he mutters granny. Oh well!
As he stands to see us out the doctor adds “autism is becoming very common now, with cases and diagnosis rapidly increasing each year. It is not yet known why this is so and research is on going presently. Legakwa is special,just love him different!” And we both nod and laugh as the Legakwa hugs his leg goodbye,perhaps to assure him and us that indeed he is a special one and just needs to be loved different.
Love them different?
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