Relief and sadness - a diagnosis for my son #asd

I wrote recently that we had been offered an "initial appointment" which I thought would be just another step in what I expected would be a long journey towards a diagnosis (or not) for my youngest child.

To recap, Grumpy as he is known here is a chatty, loving 8-year-old but for a while we, and those close to him, have suspected his quirkiness is more than just, well quirkiness. I wrote last week that he can be obsessive, very distressed by things that my other children take in their stride and has demonstrated many other characteristics which year by year became less easily explained away by toddlerhood or personality.

Today, less than an hour into a scheduled hour and a half "initial assessment" the doctor informed us that my baby demonstrates clear characteristics of autism, which probably would have been described  in the past as Aspergers and that she was recording an official diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder.

After support from blogger Steph Curtis from StephsTwoGirls we have found that strategies aimed at those with PDA, Pathological Demand Avoidance (which her daughter has) work best with our boy, but right now any diagnosis is a relief.

He is not a naughty boy. We are not bad parents.

I feel.......

I feel overwhelmingly sad for my son. Life is already difficult for him and even with this recognition of his condition it's not going to get easier. There will still be those who think he is spoiled, naughty or just plain odd.

I do feel relieved that at least we know. We can move forward with an official diagnosis. We can try and plan for his future and hopefully we won't be alone.

But is it OK to cry right now?

He is still my awesome, witty, lovely little boy and like a tiger with a cub I will always do everything in my power to protect him fiercely. But getting to this point has already exhausted me. Helping him get through every day takes imagination and so much energy.

Of course like so many of you out there I will carry on because that is what you do for your children whether they had a diagnosis or not. With the help of my wonderful husband and my awesome family and friends he will have every opportunity to ensure he gets the most out of life.

He calls himself "visibly weird." He is happy with his own description of himself.  I hope that he continues to be proud of his differences. We are certainly proud of him regardless of any label.

This is the beginning, not the end. Reports will be sent out, strategies put in place. I will update the blog any time I experience anything I think will be useful. There are people out there will much worse situations than ours and many blogs to read on the subject of #asd. This is just one thread in the story of our life so will be woven through the blog along with the rest of the varied content.

Thanks for reading.