Tuesday, January 5, 2016

My Little Cricket’s Delay: UCLA CAN Clinic Autism Results

Getting to this day, the results of My Little Cricket’s Autism screening has taken what feels like 7 lifetimes. I slept well last night, and I didn’t think that I would. I kept starting to think about and worry about and stress about the results appointment today and then I would catch myself, and I would meditate to try to bring my mind back to sleep, surprisingly it worked.

I walked into the room with the lead psychiatrist from my Little Cricket’s team calm. Either way, no matter what the results were, he was still my little boy; my happy, loveable, train loving, goofy kid. I honestly didn’t know which way the appointment results would go. Over the past two months, depending on the day you ask me, I would be almost convinced he has autism and then the very next day he would have a great day and I would think there is NO WAY my kid is autistic. I really didn’t know what UCLA was going to say but I hoped that they would just say he was delayed as the Developmental Pediatrician said. The developmental pediatrician concluded that my son does not have autism but then in the next breath she said that the UCLA CAN clinic would say that he did.

And she was right. The UCLA CAN Clinic said that my little boy is Autistic.

The words that she spoke after that I don’t remember. Despite being prepared to hear either answer my mind went blank. I had a little tunnel vision. I was shocked. And then I was shocked that I was shocked. After all I had been on the fence hundreds of times thinking that he might have it. But me thinking he might have autism, vs a renowned clinic saying that he does have autism are vastly different. My worst fears were coming to life. Their conclusion was that my son is autistic and that meant to me that there was something wrong with my Little Crickets brain. Something that the doctors still don’t know much about. Something that cannot be fixed or cured. Something that they cannot give me a prognosis of exactly how this was going to affect my son’s future. Basically they didn’t know much.

And then I spent the next hour going through items on a list in front of her about my son. I don’t remember much of the rest of that meeting but I do remember asking if I can have a phone follow up call later in the week to go over questions that I was sure I had but that my brain just wasn’t able to formulate.

I walked slowly back to my car in the rain, water sliding down my face. I remember it taking effort just to put one foot in front of the other, just one more step until I could be in my car and finally let go of the control I was barely holding onto. I remember thinking how silly it was that I had dashed into the office quickly before, because I didn’t want my just straightened hair to frizz or my makeup to run. The problems I had before entering that building mean nothing anymore.

I spent a half hour crying in my car. Just sitting there soaking wet, with the rain drumming against the outside car. It never rained in LALA Land, mother nature it seemed was weeping with me.

I was ignoring my husband’s texts. Mr. Rogue had stayed home with the kids so I could go to this meeting without children and focus. FOCUS… ha! I didn’t want to text him the news or call him, so I turned my phone off and drove home.

Mr. Rogue took the news much better than I did. I am not sure if he is grasping the long term effects of an autism diagnosis, or if he is realizing that this is going to be a lifelong struggle for our son, our family. Or if he is simply just better than me at this.

I went upstairs to take a nap, emotionally destroyed, but I just ended up lying in bed staring at the ceiling intermittently crying and going down the rabbit hole of doom and gloom and then doing a flip and being hopeful that with the right therapies my son will do well. Vacillating between denial that my son has autism, after all the developmental pediatrician said that she is sure he does not. To trying to talk myself into accepting that this is a world renowned autism testing center, they must be right.

I really wish that both specialists I saw were on the same page, that they had the same diagnosis or at least a similar diagnosis. But their findings were exact opposites of each other and so were their treatments.

I am so confused, and worried and broken, and struggling to come to terms with the many angles of this complicated multifaceted opposing diagnosis.

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