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.”