A friend of mine (okay, I admit, a more virtual friend than a real-live friend, even though we live in the same city!) got her diagnosis today. Her son has Aspergers. I want to do the happy dance, because it's been a long, hard road for them struggling to get help for their now four-year-old son.
A diagnosis is a funny thing when you have a children who's different: in a sense, it is a small victory.
You have a name.
You have something to Google.
You have confirmation that you are not crazy, you are not a bad parent, and that this is not a figment of your imagination.
And most importantly, you have a piece of paper that lets you access services to better your, your child's and your family's life.
It's also the price of admission to a very prestigious club. The Mommies Club.
First I belonged to the IS Mommies Club. Then I joined the ASD Mommies Club.
The members are great. I love the people in these clubs. I especially love the kids that bought our admission to the club.
I wanted to say that as far as clubs go, they suck. But deep in my heart, I know that's not true. However, the price of admission is steep. I would rather be in the I'm-the-parent-of-a-delightfully-average-child club. You know, the worse-thing-I-have-to-worry-about-is-... well, I don't really know what parents of average children worry about. But the dues seem somehow more manageable.
But there are great perks to this club. You get to know some very interesting people. Granted, many of them are medical professionals, but interesting nonetheless.
And you learn! You get a great education about a wide range of topics, including anti-seizure medications, EEG's, seizure management, first aid, child development, and language acquisition. You learn compassion, creativity and perserverence in a unique and powerful way. You learn to use your voice and your words and your actions to advocate for your child, your cause and your family. But you learn, even more importantly, how to find the joy and peace in the still and quiet, and to relish the good moments however fleeting they sometimes seem to be.
In short, it makes you a Super Parent. You have to be. There's no doing it half-way, half-assed or half otherwise when you're in the club.
And best part of all? You discover that
That alone is worth the price of admission.