Endless Meetings....

Just returned from yet another meeting with a psychiatrist, this one internationally renowned and revered by those “in the Autism know”. Yet another advantage, maybe, possibly, living an hour’s drive from Boston which seems to have more than its fair share of professionals and researchers. Yet we’ve, as yet, not met one who can tell us specifically, definitively, what we are dealing with in our son. We know we ask much, when answers are so few.

He’ll be 6 in May – almost middle-aged by some standards – several years too late for what they all seem to hold onto as the Great Hope – Early Intervention. He’s several years habituated in his stimming and sometimes endless babbling patterns. “He’s darling”, we were told, yet again today. Yes, there is that. There are those moments of darling. It’s the other times that leave me restless, uneasy.

I’m weary. I’d love to leave one of these meetings with a renewed sense of energy, a focus, a direction. This doctor, unlike others, managed to extract a great deal of information from us during the 75-minute meeting, some of it in areas we’d never before been questioned. Had he ever been “bitten” by a Deer Tick. Was there a history of strep? I liked her bio-medical approach.

Much cleaner and easier to deal with than another psychiatrist who asked me to chart his events to see if they coincided with a full moon and my menses. I’ve lost my fear of professionals – the “awe” type of fear that would demand I be humble, middle-class respectful. Instead, the New Me asked, “in the off-chance the Moon/Menses Chart proves conclusive, does treatment involve dancing naked around a large bonfire at midnight with sacrifices to your gods. “Maybe we should skip that option if you’re not comfortable with it” was her dry response. “Yes. My comfort. That’s what I seek”, I thought, uncomfortably cynical.

There will be another meeting scheduled in the next three weeks with The New Doctor. More questions. More reports. More theories. Possibly some medical tests to be run. At least this one gave us homework – some behavioral surveys to be filled out and returned.

But always, in the back of my mind is the horrid thought, “cancer would be easier. Cut it out, blast the life out of the surrounding tissue, and pray for complete healing”. We can research, evaluate, consult until we take our last breath. Yet there is the knowledge, that unlike cancer, there’s no cure. It is to the Lord, to whom I must turn, for the millionth time, asking for a glimmer of Hope, knowing that none of us is perfect. None of us escaped the effects of this fallen world. It’s so much more painful to watch the youngest fallen among us, though – the seemingly innocent who have taken the worst hits, shrapnel of this war embedded deep in the brain, for which there’s no tool, no operation, by which he can be restored. His cross to bear, discovered earlier in life than most, I suppose.

One out of 166 children are now diagnosed with “Autism”, whatever that is. I am far from alone. That knowledge doesn’t make it easier. I weep and pray for us all. I ran across some poems written in 1999 by Sally Meyer about her Autistic son. Many of her words could be mine. Wisely, she closes each poem with a tagline, “Autism is not the end of the world…just the beginning of a different one”.

  1. Wow, have you been reading my mind? My son will be 7 in 6 days, and after suffering a severe speech delay that he was released from therapy from at age 5 I was told smooth sailing. But even then I knew something wasn’t right, but everyone has spent the last 2 years telling me I’m grasping for straws or he’s =still catching up. We have no diagnosis or official anything from the family doctor, but several family friends who’re doctors have said we’re on the right track just need to find the right military doctor to help us find the answers. Everyone talks about how cute he is as he babbles over and over about the commercial he saw 6 weeks ago and immediately committed to memory.
    Nicole Bryant    Dec 4, 04:12 AM    #
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