Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Finding the light

Yesterday, I had Grant's (my non-aspie 7 year-old) annual speech IEP meeting. At our last meeting the teachers had asked me if they could test him for dyslexia. My heart sank just a little. I have to admit that the first thought I had was, "Oh no, not something else!" I immediately agreed to the testing and then started asking questions.

I found out that the reason they wanted to test him was because all of his other grades were so high and his reading was average. Most people with dyslexia have a higher than normal IQ, so when kids are excelling in everything else but reading, it's a huge red flag.

I walked into the meeting  yesterday knowing that they probably had the results of the test. I was eerily calm. Part of my brain was saying, "You should be nervous." The other part of my brain was saying, "You''ve got this!" As expected, his tests showed that he has dyslexia. The good news is that we caught it early, and with intervention, he will be fine. He is so smart and sweet and wise beyond his years. He's got this!!

After the meeting, I got into my car and just took a deep breath. I sat there and thought how different this meeting was from the meeting when we got Hunter's diagnosis. Dyslexia vs. Aspergers/ADHD.  The difference is that there is a light at the end of this Dyslexia tunnel. With Aspergers/Autism, there is just a hope to find that light. There is a constant search for that light for our kids!

When we received Hunter's diagnosis, we were younger and this was our first child. We had not been put through the ringer yet. We didn't know what was in store. We only knew that our baby was not fitting into this imaginary box that society had made for him, and no one seemed to have any answers!! That's the thing with spectrum disorders, the answers are scarce. You hear "what ifs" and "he probably won't ever be able to do this" and "I don't knows", but no one seems to have difinitive answers about anything. The enitre process is just waiting and hoping and working and fighting for your kid!!

So why did Grant's meeting feel so different (and almost comforting) yesterday? It felt different because when I walked out of that room, I had answers!! I know he is going to be okay. In 2 to 4 years, he will have mostly overcome this obstacle. I know that he will have 45 minute sessions every day of school, and he will learn how to manage this in his life. Will it be easy? No, but the difference is that there are answers and there is hope and there is an end to it all! He will be fine.

We have to find these same answers for kids on the spectrum. We need hope and knowledge for these kiddos and their parents!! We need more "everything will be fine" and "he will overcome this". We have to keep searching for that light at the end of the Autism tunnel It's there!! We just have to find it!