Recently my friend Connie posted a question on our parent support page. The question was “How long did it take you or not take you to accept your child’s diagnosis? Also did you find once you were able to accept it and process it you were able to handle things differently?…For myself (Connie) I think I was just going through the motions until he was about 5 or 6 and thinking I could fix it or it would go away but once I accepted it for what it was I was able to breathe again”
Here was my response: “Once we had a diagnosis, I felt empowered. I sought out the tools necessary to help my little guys succeed. For me, it has been a fine line between hope and acceptance. I HOPE that early intervention will pay off and that my boys will have a chance at a “normal” life. I ACCEPT that the road will be different than others. Although, it might take longer, I HOPE that it will happen. But I also ACCEPT that it might not. Either way I will always love them; that’s all that matters in the end”.
Jon and I immediately accepted Aden and Alex’s diagnosis but I still hope it will go away. I feel guilty feeling this way but I promised to always be open and honest about our situation and that’s how I feel. This made me question, can you have acceptance and hope?
I think you can. I think you must first accept before moving forward. Early intervention cannot exist without acceptance. Hope comes when you see progress, when you see changes. Aden and Alex are living proof that early intervention works. There was a time when Aden and Alex didn’t respond to their names, they didn’t make eye contact, they didn’t notice each other, they didn’t play with toys, and they didn’t have words. Early intervention changed all that, it gave me hope.
It saddens me when I meet parents who can’t accept the diagnosis, therefore they don’t do whatever it takes to help their child. These parents are doing a disservice to their child and I can’t say a word about it. All I can do is continue to be an advocate for early intervention. Whatever our outcome is I can say we’ve done absolutely everything we could for our children. I will have no regrets.
Another Autism Mom told me by the time the boys are five, I will have a much better outlook on what the future holds. I believe her and I believe, like Connie that will be the time when I can finally breathe again. One year to go…I can’t wait.