“Let me call my husband. He couldn’t be here, but he wanted to be on speakerphone to hear the results.”
“Don’t worry about it. Everything came back normal. Your son’s genetic results were all normal. No additions, no deletions, nothing out of range. He has the results we would expect for any neurotypical two year old boy.”
This is the first time a doctor has referred to my son as normal since we began this journey in July. Suddenly the idea of having a third child isn’t off the table and the idea of testing our older son for autism is. We have a normal 2 year old who just needs intensive therapy to reach his milestones. Of course, we don’t know why he hasn’t reached them yet or whether or not his future will include this level of therapy, but he is improving little by little and each day brings us closer to having a “normal” little boy.
When you get news like we’ve gotten in the past week, it’s hard to decide how or what to feel. First comes the overwhelming feeling of relief that the “diagnosis” of ASD is temporary. When a doctor tells you that your child is most likely just experiencing autistic-like behaviors, it somehow sounds temporary and completely curable. I mean ASD is not curable, but autism-like behaviors can be overcome, right? We’ll just do lots of therapy and he’ll continue to improve and he’ll be fine.
But then there’s the lingering fear that autism-like behaviors are just that – behaviors that mimic autism. The fact that they mimic a disorder says nothing of how long they will last or their permanence. For all we know, his prognosis remains unchanged with the added risk of seizures.
We’re very happy that our child’s diagnosis is temporary, but we also feel that we need to push hard for him to continue in his therapies and reach his full potential. To us, he’s still the same child he was before he had his first diagnosis, the same child he was when he received it, and he’s the same person he’ll be throughout his life.
He is our son and we will love him and fight for him, no matter what his medical situation is.