Emotion #1: Denial

Standard

Your child has Autism Spectrum Disorder.

A handful of words that could and probably will change everything you’ve known about parenting and your current world.  We were pretty well prepared to hear this diagnosis, but we still acted like nothing was different.  We even went as far to say to each other “this really doesn’t change anything in our current world.”  

We were definitely in denial.  

As much of a blessing as an education diagnosis of ASD was going to be, I chose for the next several weeks to still act like my child was still my child without a label.  I hate that we’ll forever have to tack that on to who he is.  I think sometimes it’ll be helpful; it would have been great to tell the parents of the boy in front of us at church when our son kicked theirs in the head during a meltdown (yeah, it was a feat of flexibility and flailing).  But mostly, I picture the pitiful look of sympathy from family or friends whose kids are all normal neurotypical who will keep that label forever attached to my baby.  

It’s all feels really unfair and even weeks after diagnosis, I still feel compelled to keep it totally private.

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