One mom’s story of our family’s journey finding out we’re on Autistic Spectrum.
A series on how we are navigating through being newly diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome.
April is Autism Awareness month – with that I want to share how Autism has touched us over the next four weeks. To show support for the millions of families living with and loving someone who has autism, please light up your blog/Facebook blue to share your support.
If you know our family, you know that we’re a bit of an off-the-wall bunch. If you’ve ever met Bubba – a.k.a. Big Brother, you know he’s a lil’ bit more eclectic than the rest of us. He’s uber smart – like rocket-scientist smart – but he has always had “something” different about him.
Two weeks ago I had to make a horrible, heart-shattering decision that no mom ever wants to make. We have long thought (since he was 4-years old) that Bubba was bipolar – the doctors, the therapists, our family history all lead us to that conclusion. If you have someone in your life that suffers from mood disorders, you know that every day is challenge.
He had been suffering with depression for some time and it finally came to the point where, with the help of his therapist, we sat down and discussed checking him into an inpatient program. Bubba said to his therapist that he wanted help – that he didn’t want to feel that way any more. It was time to take him to the local hospital that specialized in these types of things.
I suffered for weeks before about the decision – I knew what needed to happen, but it didn’t change the fact that it made me feel like the worst mother on the planet. I cried through the talking with the therapist; I cried on the drive over; I cried through the intake process. No matter what anyone told me, it still didn’t make the decision any easier. But we got Bubba checked in and up to his unit to meet the doctors and staff that would be caring for him while he was there.
So many of the kids on the unit were there for reasons that I could never understand at their age – depression, anxiety, suicidal attempts, anger issues. I was terrified that Bubba wasn’t in the right place. The staff assured me that he was in the right hands and that the help he needed would be right there when he needed it. And with that I was unceremoniously escorted to the elevator, without even a “good-bye” from Bubba. I went out to the car, sat there and cried my eyes out – not the Julia Roberts pretty cry either – before I headed home to see Mini-Me.
The next morning, I had a brief meeting with Dr. B – Bubba’s psychiatrist while he was inpatient. I went into his office and before I could sit down in the chair, Dr. B said to me: “This is going to sound like a crazy question, but has anyone ever suggested that Bubba might have Asperger’s Syndrome?” I BURST into blubbering, bawling sobs. Dr. B said that he and the staff felt strongly, based on their observations, that he was a classic Asperger’s kid, but they had some evaluations that had to be done to confirm it before he could concretely say it was.
At this point, I reached out to my bloggie friends to see if anyone had any resources – and I was supported with the most loving out-pouring of help & encouragement. From here I started the information gathering and assimilating – understanding what the diagnosis meant, where to go to get the help, what it means for our family.
This is a new journey for us – and we will be sharing our experience as we travel this road. Over the course of the next few weeks, I’ll share our history, what we went through that got us to this point and the ups & downs of getting everything we need to help Bubba.