Are there certain things we should be feeling after a child gets a diagnosis? sadness? Anger? Fear? Whatever you feel is normal. My initial feeling was fear. Fear that my son will always be behind in life, that he will lose out on so many opportunities, that I did something that caused my son’s delay. I then got acceptance and moved forward with how we were going to get ahead of this autism business.
It doesn’t just end after the initial diagnosis. An ASD diagnosis is going to be a lifetime of ups and downs. I’m going to feel unbelievably excited when my son will finally call me “mommy”. I imagine that moment in my head almost every day. I will be happy when my son walks into his first day of Kindergarten. I will be so happy for my son when he gives me a handwritten letter for mothers day.
There will also be times where I will be so sad, for both my son and myself. About a month ago my son and I were at the park. He usually sticks to himself but when he sees a group of older kids he sometimes like to join in or copy what they do. He went up to a group of older boys and tried to join in but the boys ignored him (I really don’t even think they noticed he was there, not that they were being mean). Nonetheless Eli tried to join in and ran away thinking they were chasing him; he made it all the way across the jungle gym and down the slide before he realized the boys ran the other way and he was by himself. The rest of our time there Eli played by himself until I couldn’t take it anymore. I took him to our car where I sat and cried my eyes out for a good 20 minutes. I cried because my son doesn’t recognize that he is different yet, but one day he will. My heart was breaking for him in case he doesn’t catch up to the older kids and they tease him or ignore him. I cried because I don’t want him to be lonely or teased.
After a child is diagnosed with a disability, delay, or anything it will be followed up with a lifetime of ups and downs. No matter what you feel is normal. Embrace your emotions and love the high moments and let the low moments float away with the past. Always try and look on the bright side of things