I’ve been putting this entry off for a while, because I’ve needed time to digest, to sit and actually feel the emotions that come with this.
The little miss has been diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum. I know I shouldn’t be surprised, because there is a large genetic component and as her father is on the spectrum (Aspergers), as well as other family members. But it did surprise me. I’m not going to lie. It surprised me for the fact that, as one of her speech-language therapists put it, there is no hard fast line that divides ADHD and ASD from each other. They are a Venn diagram. They overlap and it is entirely possible to be diagnosed with both. The treatment for a lot of the ASD issues is the same as ADHD issues.
Another component of what “surprised” me is dealing with my own educational trauma. I did not have a good childhood when it came to school. I was bright, but flighty. I was labeled as Bart Simpson before he existed (an underachiever and proud of it). Now I know I’ve got a high IQ (genius level, which means sweet eff all in reality other than I can rock standardised tests), ADHD, dyscalculia and a variant of hyperlexia. But the hell on earth I went through damn near dimmed my love of learning. It certainly has had knock on effects in my life. So when being told that my daughter, who by all measures is an intelligent, funny, loving child, has a developmental disorder… it sat me back on my heels and right back into a time where I was being physically bullied.
I’m dealing with that. I’ve talked to my doctors about it, and we’re taking it one step at a time. We are advocating hard for her, her father and I, and we’re not letting autism be the label that defines her when there are so many other things that she is. We’re letting her be our tour guide into her world. She has come leaps and bounds in a short time. I know I’m biased, but she is amazing. I see her grow and change every day. I hope her future is as amazing as she is.