I already wrote a diary entry today, before I had the appointment with Dr. Brown, but there is so much on my mind and I need to get it out of my system right now.
As I prepared for the meeting this morning, I wasn’t really nervous or worried, I almost felt…a bit excited?! I honestly thought that I would meet this doctor who will understand my feelings, someone who would listen and say “I know exactly what you mean”, someone that would understand that I adore Joe just the way he is, be that I want to find out how I can support him more.
Well, to say the least, that is not what I got…
Joe did so well during the meeting! He did not scream or have a tantrum – I could see he was a bit anxious in the unfamiliar environment, but I handed him his chill bag and he squeezed and pulled on some of the squishy, stretchy objects in the bag. I was so proud of him!
Dr. Brown had a chat with me while watching Joe out of the corner of her eye and furiously making notes every time he would spin the wheel on a car, grind his teeth or jump up and down a couple of times. After about 35 minutes of questioning me and watching Joe, Dr. Brown put down her pen, folded her hands together and looked me straight in the eye – “Your son (she looked down at her notes to remind herself what his name is), Joe, has autism, autism spectrum disorder.”
I HATED the way she said those words, as if it was the worst news that she could be giving me.
And then she started going on about autism and all the challenges and how Joe would never learn to speak properly, how he would never be able to go to a mainstream school, how he would always have to be cared for…
At that point I felt that I’m going to lose it. Not because of the diagnoses that Dr. Brown just gave my child, but because of the utter disappointment and disgust that I felt with this doctor.
I came to this meeting to look for support and ways to help Joe to cope and to find a comfortable way of learning for him. I knew in the back of my mind that he might be diagnosed with something, but I did not come to sit and listen to a doctor telling me what a terrible life is ahead of my child (and me).
Without saying a word, I got up, walked over to Joe, knelt on the floor beside him and gently said to him that we will be leaving now to rather go to the swimming pool that he loves so much.
Joe jumped up, giggled and did a little dance and then we walked out. Ryan must have greeted the doctor and probably apologized for my behavior, because he came out of the room a few moments after we left.
As soon as I got to my car, I burst into tears.
I’ll tell you more tomorrow.