Recently, I was asked to answer questions on my daughter's autism for Cafemom's blog. They're featuring about 20 moms' experiences with parenting a child on the spectrum in honor of Autism Awareness Month. One of the questions asked how I felt after receiving the diagnosis. I remember feeling just devastated. At the time, you think that there is no worse news than hearing that your child is autistic.
Looking back now, I realized that the diagnosis was the beginning of getting help for her! It's also like everything else in life--you get use to your new reality. When we first found out that she was allergic to tree nuts, and we'd have to carry around a couple of epi-pens, we were afraid our daughter wouldn't be able to eat anything without having a reaction! That certainly hasn't been the case! You just learn to adapt to the situation and continue to move forward.
Now that my daughter has learned better coping skills, and I've learned better ways of helping her out when she forgets these skills, life isn't as restrictive as it used to be. We don't have to plan our lives around her tantrums anymore! Looking back now at how I felt when she was first diagnosed, I almost feel really silly!
We recently learned that an extended family member, a boy who is the same age as my daughter, was diagnosed with Leukemia last week. He was having fun at an Easter egg hunt one day and getting diagnosed the next. This is truly devastating news for any parent and puts things in perspective for me. I'm not the type of person who prays, but we pray for this boy every day! His prognosis is good, thankfully!
Give your little ones a big hug and appreciate them in all their glorious imperfections!