Tomorrow is a pretty big day. Like I've mentioned before, my diary is rapidly filling up with appointments for Tyler, but tomorrow is the only one I'm scared about - it's with the Autism specialist team. Tomorrow is the first stage in Tyler's official diagnosis process.
Getting an official diagnosis for Autism can take a long time to get because there are so many things to consider and Autism is such a huge spectrum. No two Autistic children are the same, so getting a diagnosis is not straight forward. To be honest, I have no idea what to expect from this process, but I'm terrified. One part of me wants to get the official diagnosis because it opens up many more opportunities for therapy and assistance. But when they officially state that Tyler has autism, there's no going back. It's a lifelong condition. The tiny bit of hope (which is nothing more than delusion) that Tyler will 'grow out' of this and will one day be totally fine will be completely gone. That is so scary!
Don't get me wrong, I know in my heart that Tyler is autistic, it's more obvious with every day that passes, but the official label brings long term implications. It doesn't scare me that he's autistic (I know I will get used to his behaviour), it scares me that he's autistic FOR LIFE and that could mean so many things! Autistic children grow into autistic teenagers and then autistic adults. What does my son's future hold? I have absolutely no clue and that's scary.
When we have children, we have hopes and dreams for them and to a point we have expectations. I guess we just presume that one day they will stereo-typically go to uni and/or get a good job, fall in love, get married, have children. I know nowadays that stereo-typical is changing by the day, but the vast majority of us still have some conventional hopes, if nothing else. Ultimately though, we all want our children to be happy and successful in whatever they choose to do. But what if everything in Tyler's life has to be a struggle, like communication currently is for him? The thought of him struggling in school or being bullied breaks my heart.
I was bullied at school and to think of Tyler experiencing the feelings I did just tears my heart to pieces. I never want him to feel that isolation, sadness or hurt. How do I stop him going through that though when his differences will make him an easy target? I've already seen it and he's not even 3. When we go to soft play areas or parks, kids look at him strangely when he talks in his own little language or follows them around without talking. On quite a few occasions I've seen kids hit him and Tyler just lets them and even smiles - he has no idea how to defend himself or even to tell someone what is happening to him. He really is so vulnerable.
When you have a newborn you are so scared to leave them with anyone because you have no way of knowing if they are being looked after properly. As they get older, you presume it gets easier because they should be able to tell you if something is wrong (or atleast you hope they will). For Tyler though I really have to trust anyone he is with. This is partly why he has been taken out of nursery. I know it's the best place for him for his communication, but I didn't trust some of the staff looking after him to ensure that all his needs were being met. During the hot summer, he often came out of nursery dripping in sweat and so thirsty because he couldn't ask for a drink like the other children could. The staff were doing their job, but they just didn't have the time to give Tyler the attention he needs. What happens if I don't trust the teachers at his school? How do I know he will be ok when he goes there? But then I can't wrap him up in cotton wool, as much as I would love to! It's so hard!!!
Truth be told, I have to stop thinking like this. At the minute, I have no idea what the future holds and am nowhere near having any answers to the million questions in my head. I have to just cross every bridge as I get to it otherwise I will end up going crazy. It's easier said than done, but I have to otherwise I will miss out on today with my little star. At the minute, I have him at home with me where I can focus on preparing him for what lies ahead and enjoying our precious time together. Like all children, Tyler is growing up faster than I would like and that's one thing all mothers can empathise with.
|I heard this a long time ago, and it's very true!|
Who knows what tomorrow will bring, but today we can enjoy with our lovely new additions. Meet Bo and Bailey, Tyler's new brothers. (Just incase I didn't have my hands full enough.)