Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified. This is what my son Bashar has. His teacher and a school psychologist have confirmed what tests done two years ago tentatively said. He will be evaluated by a pediatric specialist (psychologist/developmental/behavioral specialist) in October, maybe sooner if my husband can use the “I’m a doctor at Western Psychiatric at UPMC” card to get an earlier appointment. My feelings are all over the place. On one hand, it’s nice to have a name. PDD-NOS is dealt with differently from ADD or ADHD. On the other hand, it feels almost surreal to say “my son is on the autism spectrum”. Now that I think about it, based on what I, his teacher, and the school psychologist have observed, how could I not see it?
Bashar has a tendency to not read other people’s social cues very well. He gets overly stimulated easily. The lack of attention. The tendency to fixate on one subject and talk incessantly about it. The difficulty with body boundaries, especially when dealing with strangers. Come to think of it, some of these traits describe my younger brother, too. Interesting. So today when Bashar talked to me for the millionth time about how one day he and I will go to buy school supplies for his kindergarten, it hit me. That is the PDD-NOS speaking. Be patient. Hug him and tell him that yes, I am joining in his excitement to look for school supplies, markers, crayons, glue sticks, and small scissors for him. It’s been a rough road to get to this point. When he was screened back in June, he scored 20 points lower on the verbal IQ test and about 20 points lower on the non verbal iq test. He is still the same child after a diagnosis as he was before it. I keep telling myself this, hoping that somehow, some way my heart won’t ache so much. It is like I am back to the grieving stage all over again, where I was 2 years ago, and I can’t explain why.