This is a guest post from blogger Chrissy Kelly (Life with Greyson) about the emotions surrounding her son's autism diagnosis.
This is my son Parker...
He has 100 different smiles, all guaranteed to light up the room. He's a mama's boy, a fact that makes me glow with pride. And each time he chooses only me to soothe him, I feel like I just won a prize.
We love slow dancing in the kitchen while the rest of the word falls away. Sometimes I think every love song was written just for me and him.Those are the moments I know that I've loved him not just all his life, but all mine too. He is my wildest dream come true.
Parker reminds me it's okay to get dirty while you're having fun. He makes me not mind a cluttered house or floor covered with toys. I pick playing with him versus cleaning. A clean house I'll forget tomorrow, but playing with him I'll still remember deep in my bones in a hundred years. Long after he falls asleep at night I stumble over a forgotten toy on the floor, and smile as I think of him. He reminds me it's better to live an honest, painful, beautiful life than someone elses fairy tale. He makes me want to live a beautiful story about a boy with endless blue eyes and possibilities and a Mom that loves so big that it sometimes hurts.
Parker has huge crystal-blue pool eyes that I like to swim in. Flecks of gold pull me in and let me look directly into his bright soul. I stare and memorize him. Please God- I whisper, Let me remember my 2-year old Parker. Freeze this moment for eternity and let me remember everything. The feel of his chubby rectangular feet. His soft, smooth baby fine hair a million different shades of gold. The sight of him playing outside in the back yard doing his funny little run. He makes me stop at least once a day and say, Wow, God. Really? Are you sure it's okay? He's really mine? And I still really can't believe that my heart made his heart, and because of that it's like we are always together.
I remember nursing him. Our eyes locked on each other and I didn't know where he ended and I began. We were one. And then that eye contact slowly drifted away. I had to get bigger and louder to pull him out from inside his head. And I knew what to look for and I found it, and I knew what it was called.
Today Parker had his diagnostic evaluation today for autism. Unlike Parker's older brother Greyson's diagnosis appointment not yet two years ago- the doctor wouldn't tell me on the spot. I practically begged- If I know- I assume you know. Please don't make me neurotically check the mail every day wondering if this is the day I will open an envelope and fall to my knees.I need to hear the words said out loud. My mother's heart needs to hear it so I can move on.
And although she was kind and a mother, unfortunately she was also not a rule breaker. He seems to have behaviors and characteristics in line with a spectrum disorder, she finally gave me when pressed. We still need to compile all the data first. But he's got a lot of wonderful traits too. I know that is their band aid. I heard it with Greyson so many times- He's got so many great traits, and I mistakenly took that as not autistic. Now I know it must be because they want something positive to say and they can't say the thing that most parents want to hear. They want to remind me this beautiful bright shining light is a gift. I already know that, deeply and with even more determined conviction on imperfect gut wrenching days like today.
I know the Doctor's report will call my pot black, and it will leave my heart aching a little. And I also know that today, and even on the day we get the damn letter, Parker is still the same sweet soul whose warm wrinkled body was placed against my bare chest and into my heart almost three years ago.
If you have a concern about how your child is communicating, interacting or behaving, you are probably wondering what to do next. Check out our Early Access to Care toolkit.