Recently, we talked to our doctor about our son’s behavioral issues. The doctor said our son checks the boxes for an autism diagnosis. He told us to explore autism-specific therapy.
This knocked me over. I know cerebral palsy (CP), congenital Cytomegalovirus (CMV), and polymicrogyria. I know those things like the back of my hand. I had no idea about autism. I had no idea what to do.
I don’t want my son to be defined by his disability. But his diagnoses help me understand him. To have a new wrinkle thrown in—well, it was difficult to add a new diagnosis.
But I realize now that this diagnosis represents an opportunity. It opens a new set of doors. For example, we thought he was non-verbal because he didn't have the cognitive ability. But with autism, that might change! Grinding his teeth and difficulty sleeping could be related to his autism. We’ve had these questions for a while. And we’re getting them answered!
Our children are like beautiful puzzles. It’s our job to figure out how each piece fits. The more complex the diagnosis, the more complex the puzzle. I love a good puzzle. It feels like this diagnosis put me one step closer to being the dad I need to be.
In short, this new diagnosis is a blessing. It’s a new perspective. I feel like I’m getting to know a whole new side of him. I absolutely love it. Sometimes, life’s surprises are the most meaningful moments.
The Diagnosis and Healthcare section offers information on new diagnosis and children diagnosed with multiple disabilities.
Living with a child who has mental health issues can come with a lot of unknowns just like having a child with physical health issues. But society can treat both children very differently.
I have two boys. One is 10 and the other is 8. Both of my kids have disability labels. One has a physical disability and the other has emotional and behavioral issues. One disability you can see, the other you don’t – but it is there.