Yesterday Andrew and I left Isaac with a babysitter and went to visit his Developmental Pediatrician. A year and a half ago I didn’t even know what a Developmental Pediatrician was. A year ago, I met Andrew’s Developmental Pediatrician and left her office confused and angry at her. And since then I’ve come to understand her much, much better.

Andrew really likes going to see her. Her office is filled with toys and she never, ever gives him shots. Plus, right before we see her, he gets to see his height and weight, and best of all, get his blood pressure checked (“it squeezes my arm! And the more it squeezes, the happier I feel! It gets tighter and tighter and tighter and I get happier, and happier and happier!” Not sure they get that response a lot…).

We’ve been talking for the last couple of months about firming up a diagnosis for Andrew. A clear diagnosis is needed at this point for his education to fall into place in a more targeted way. She told me that she would prefer to watch kids like Andrew grow into adulthood without needing a diagnosis. She’d like them to just get the things they need without that piece. But, it’s pretty clear now that pros are outweighing the cons and a diagnosis would help him.

Her verdict? Autism Spectrum Disorder. ASD.

My reaction? I saw it coming. Heck, most of you saw it coming too with how I talk about it. I agree with it. I agree with her. The only thing that surprised me was how sad I felt about it. So, so sad. Turns out even the process of making it official is one more thing that I have to wrap my head around.

I called my mom and she said, “We still love him so much.”
I called Kirsten and she said, “There is so much that’s awesome about Andrew because he’s autistic.”

Two things I knew, but still needed to hear.

And….that’s the story.

I plan on spending today making playdough and model volcanos and getting some laundry done and making some phone calls. Friends are coming over this afternoon and our day will be filled to the brim, as usual. And right now? I need to go make breakfast for a couple of hungry brothers.

onward and onward, my friends.

When I was looking through some photos last weekend I was struck by how Andrew has gotten really, really good at playing with the little people in his life. He’s just a good kid. I wrote “Andrew, you have found a way to play with your little brother in a way that is *usually* gentle, silly and fun. I love watching the ways you connect with him. Love you, Giggle Brother.”

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About robyn

I stopped teaching Kindergarten in 2005 to become the mom of two crazy boys here in Brooklyn. At first I thought being a stay at home mom meant that I needed to pour all my time and energy directly into my sons, but I realized somewhere along the way that being a rockstar mom meant not only taking good care of my boys, but also taking good care of myself. And taking good care of myself means pursuing something creative...just about everyday. I started Made In Brooklyn to motivate myself in my creative goals as well as share my work with others and perhaps inspire them in their own creative journeys.
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8 Responses to Yesterday

  1. Susan says:

    I love the blood pressure story. Having my blood pressure taken is my least favorite medical procedure. I seriously panic a little every time that the nurse might get distracted and leave the cuff on when it’s squeezing me the most. I’m not even sure that’s possible. And I should really know better and get a grip. Oh, well.

    • robyn says:

      I have that panicky feeling too! It’s such a strange feeling and I don’t like it AT ALL. But I was thinking of looking into a full-body blood pressure machine for Andrew. ;) He absolutely LOVED it! Funny kid.

  2. Rhona says:

    Putting a name to what Andrew has doesn’t make him any different, he’s still the same little boy you love so much. I have a nephew who is Autistic and he’s one of my favourite people. He makes us smile and is such a wonderful soul. I know it’s not all a bed of roses but you will find your way, just as Andrew will find his.
    I also love the blood pressure story – as you said, probably not what they hear too often ;o) xx

  3. Deb Keyworth says:

    Did you hear of this guy?
    He is a famous and so brilliantly talented artist.
    Your Andrew will find his own talents and he’s clearly a much loved and loving member of your family. It must be hard to come to terms with all this assessing and diagnosing but I do think that this is the worst part of it. From now onwards he can get the help and support he needs, be taught in the ways that he will understand and respond to. He is very lucky to have you as his mum, fighting his corner every little inch of the way!

    • robyn says:

      woah! I haven’t heard of him, Deb. That’s pretty cool stuff!

      Thanks for the link and the encouragement…I really appreciate it!

  4. erin says:

    You are a good and brave mama – just doing what’s best for her boys. Andrew is amazing, creative, lovable and bright. I think its great how open you are about the struggle of understanding and raising Andrew. Your reflections on autism have influenced my teaching and have made me more understanding with my autistic students and their parents particularly around the issue – to diagnose or not. Hugs to you.

    BTW – I think you should have a gallery page of all your beautiful folk quilts.

  5. Dannyelle says:

    Your stories of struggle aways inspire and move me. I see how God has equiped you at each stage of the journey so far, and trust he will continue to guide you and uphold you. Thanks for your willness to share with a world full of strangers, you inspire me to mother better.

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