Friday, December 27, 2013

Education Friday - Diagnosing Success

Perhaps I should post this on Monday under the title 
Moody Monday Musings, 
because it is not really anything but a thoughts about 
education and the diagnosis of autism.
Lately I have met several parents whose child, for one reason or another, received the autism diagnosis later in life - in the teens, twenties, or even thirties. 
And these parents regret their ignorance bitterly.
There are many reasons why early diagnosis is helpful,
but there is perhaps less reason for regret than we might
initially think. And if the parents did their best to give their
child the best education and life possible, there is no 
reason for the self-blame that many parents feel.
Ten years ago I spent as much time fighting with our insurance
company (BC/BS) as I did playing with and educating my
child. That may be an overstatement, but I don't think so.
I cannot imagine what I would have done with an autism
diagnosis twenty years ago when there was even less support.
I physically and emotionally exhausted myself in a never ending
quest to find the best therapeutic and educational alternatives for my child and had school door after school door slammed in my face because my child had autism. Without the diagnosis, some of those same places might have been more accepting since my boy's
behavior differences were mild.
I worried constantly about his abilities when he had no academic
challenges (other than handwriting) till third grade. 
I am most grateful for the community of parents, therapists, and children and adults with autism that I would never have found 
without the diagnosis. But early diagnosis is a tool, it is not a
remedy for the challenges of autism. And many parents and 
children have done a wonderful job of handling those challenges
without ever using the word autism to describe them. 
I salute them.
-Spectrum Mom                 

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