That day was here, it had finally arrived. She put on her coat, took a deep breath as she closed the door behind her.
Sat at the bus stop a thousand thoughts bombarded her brain, she developed a list of endless questions storing them safely to the front of her mind. Boarding the bus she knew it was almost crunch time.
The child & adolescent mental health centre was a modern building boasting floor to ceiling windows that had been brightly stained in an array of colours. She sat staring at the rainbow of colour the suns ray had projected through the coloured glass onto the cold tiled floor only to have her trance broken with the calling of her name.
Looking up she recognised the woman stood before her as the Child Psychologist who along with others, had sat for hours observing the behaviours of her then 9-year-old son.
The Psychologist smiled, though it was one of those awkward half smiles with her head slightly tipped to one side her whole expression cried sympathy!
“How are you?” she asked as they headed for the elevator! She responded by smiling gently while nodding her head and stating “Yes, I’m fine thank you” This couldn’t have been more dishonest! Her life seemed no less than a giant mess, her eyes alone expressed the story of sleepless nights and utter worry.
A weird, awkward moments silence commenced for what seemed like minutes though in reality it was only seconds when finally the ding of the elevators doors rang out. Stepping out of the elevator the Psychologist turned and with that same tilted head and half smile, asked “Are you ready?”
She was as ready as she’d ever be, for no amount of time could ever prepare her for this day.
After a short walk down a brightly lit corridor they came to a door, it was on the other side of that door that answers await, the answers to the question she had asked some two years before!
Entering the room they were greeted by a whole host of professionals, each on armed with a clip board, a glass of water and that same tilted head and half lit smile.
Taking a seat she felt her whole body tense, why did she suddenly feel this way? Looking at the tissues the Psychologist had now placed on the middle of the table right before her, she asked herself “Do they expect me to cry?”
After all why would she?
It had been more than 18 months since that first appointment, her son had seen every single one of these specialist and more besides, almost all giving the same conclusion following observation of his behaviours! Yes, if it wasn’t for the mix up, the mistake of a closed case following a silly mixup in paper work, she was almost certain this day would have come long go.
After that first appointment and first drawn conclusion with a child Paediatrician she had gone home and researched all there was to know on the topic and therefore realised that yes the reality of what that Paediatrician had told her was in fact more than a possibility!
So… why in god’s name would this woman now cry?
There was a whole lot of words, words that went in without being fully absorbed. Each professional adding their view on what support her child would likely require, what this involved and just how to go about getting it!
Then a pause…
Here it comes she thought!
Looking at the psychologist she concentrated on the movement of her lips as she said them words…
“So, we are all in agreement that the most suitable and fitting diagnosis for your child is that of… Aspergers Syndrome”
It wasn’t a shock… as mentioned the possibility had always been put forward.
As his mother she had taken it on board and adjusted her way of thinking when it had come to parenting her son, she already considered him a boy with Aspergers.
So… why did she find herself reaching for the tissues?
She didn’t cry through sadness, she cried because it was suddenly all so real, so official! With the diagnosis also came a certain degree of relieve, a reason for her child’s uniqueness. She could stop blaming his meltdowns or difficulties on that of her own parenting, school could stop shaking their heads and finally wake up to the fact that this is real and not an excuse.
“Do you have any questions”
Of course she did, she had that whole long list that she had readily stored at the front of her mind!
So… why could she not think of one to ask?
It’s been over two years and this woman has come along way. Like any family they have good days and they have bad days. She embraces her child’s uniqueness and encourages parents of newly diagnosed children to reach out to one another, sharing the message…
YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
But do you know what?
She still can’t remember that list of all important questions she stored so safely in the front of her mind!