Small World, Big Diagnosis
For years, when I would say “Aspergers,” people would just give me this sympathetic yet confused look. I would go on to say, “It’s on the autism spectrum,” and they would nod and understand a little better. They understood the words, at least. I don’t think many people outside of the “autism world” really understand what it is like in here.
I remember when doctor’s dropped the term “Asperger’s” from her file and she was “officially” diagnosed with autism. It doesn’t sound like a big deal if you’re not from this world, but it feels like we have sat on the edge of the pool dipping our feet leisurely before we slipped fully into the waters.
It’s less of a shock when you have had your feet in the water for a bit. And it helps to sort out what’s what when you are dealing with co-morbid diagnoses. I am digested this, pondered on what, if any, adjustments I would need to make.
I am already so grateful for the wonderful community I have found. I have bonded with parents who are raising children with a variety of diagnosis and they are a strong, beautiful breed!
Parenting typical children is hard (I know I have several!) but parenting a special needs child is a whole different world. We are sometimes, at the end of the day, downtrodden and beaten by all that we deal with, but then we seek each other out to offer support and strength. I think it is this collective strength that help so many of us get by. On the days when we “just can’t” we talk to someone who can pick us back up. The give us a smile, a hug, a word of encouragement and push us back into the ring.
In these worlds, these small worlds, of autism and bipolar disorder and ADHD we find a bigger world. One that overflows with compassion and sarcasm and sheer parental power. We CAN do this. It is hard. Some days it is FUCKING hard. But it is doable. I know, because I am.
And lastly, on the days when I feel this small world close around me I try to put myself in her shoes, in her smaller world, in her world where she is still learning to make these kinds of connections, the one’s that sustain you and I. She pushes back, she wants a bigger world and I want that for her.
If you love a child with bipolar disorder and you would like to connect, please visit my parent support group, The Juniper Files.
April is National Poetry Month, as well as Autism Awareness Month so to honor them both:
My Puzzle, A Piece, Find Peace
She burst into my life like a beautiful storm
Motherhood became a trial of strength
Love and patience umbrella us
Tempers strike like lightning
Love lingers like mist on the air
We pause in the storm, dance in the rain
We disappear into the clouds
Thunder claps in our wake
Like a puzzle, missing piece, missing peace
Until next time, scribe happy and stay sassy,