|This is what awesome looks like.|
Today I took Skeletor to our long awaited appointment with a doctor at Vanderbilt specializing in pediatric developmental disorders. Young Master Skeletor was assessed and evaluated and observed and lots of other watch-y, look-y type things. At the end of our hour or so with the doctor, we left with a diagnosis. My son is autistic.
That seems so scary and final to say. It's no longer, "He might be autistic." It's now a fact. Granted, we've strongly suspected this for the last two and a half years. But it's still kind of shocking to hear it. Kind of feels like when you fell off the swingset at school and got the breath knocked out of you. But I'm okay. Captain Gingerbeard and the other kids are okay. Skeletor is okay. We're all okay. I'm not even sad or angry. I went through my brief "mourning" period six months ago when our pediatrician gave us a probable autism diagnosis. I grieved for some imaginary child who is supposedly perfect and definitely doesn't exist. Things aren't how I thought they would be for my child, but are they ever? Sure, I have my pity parties more often than I would care to admit, but my son is healthy and he's happy. And that's a whole lot more than a lot of parents can say. (Not that I won't be griping on here. That's what blogs are for!)
Nothing changed today with this diagnosis. Skeletor is still the same kid he was yesterday. He is still a sweet, kind, funny, smart, loving little boy. He still has the same unique set of challenges that he has always had. The only thing that happened today is that we now have the information we need to provide every single thing that we can so our child can live a happy, healthy life. This diagnosis almost feels freeing. I no longer have to worry about what may or may not be wrong. Now I can just focus on what's right for him.