A Diagnosis 

Noah is just a few weeks away from turning 3. We recently had him evaluated for the Metro Nashville Public School preschool program. Talk about overwhelming…in the evaluation there was a Special Education teacher, a speech therapist, an occupational therapist, a developmental therapist and a child psychologist. They all had questions for me about Noah, his behaviors and development thus far. There was also lots of paper work and questionnaires I had to fill out about him. At first they just observed Noah playing alone. In typical Noah fashion he hummed a tune while lining up the cars, the people, the trucks, and then the pizza. Eventually they took him over to a table and asked him to do different tasks. The process took 2 hours but it felt like we were there all day. At the follow up appointment a couple weeks later we went over their findings and Noah was officially diagnosed with Autism. 

This is something that I knew was a possibility but hearing the official diagnosis is still overwhelming. When I first saw the diagnosis on paper my eyes welled up with tears and it was all I could do not to start sobbing right there in front of these ladies. I’m terrified of he unknown. What does the future look like for him. Will he be able to be in a “normal” class later. Will he catch up and ever be on track with other kiddos his own age. I try so hard not to compare him to others but it always creeps in the back of my mind.

The plan is for him to start school when he turns 3. He will go 5 days a week from 8-12. They stressed to me how good the structure of school will be for him. He will continue to receive therapy twice a week while at school in a small group. He will be placed into what they call a blended class. A blended class is made up of some children like Noah with special needs and a diagnosis like autism and the other half of the children will have no special needs or delays. This type of class will help Noah catch up developmentally and socially. 

I know that we are doing all we can to help him. They keep telling us how early intervention is key and I don’t know how much earlier we could have caught it. Of course this doesn’t change how much we love him. He’s still our precious little boy that we adore. Just trying to lay aside all of our worries and fears. I know that we are very lucky that he is happy and healthy. It could be much worse so I am thankful for all we do have. Just taking a moment to let it all sink in. 

~M 

    
    
    
    
   

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11 thoughts on “A Diagnosis 

  1. I work with students on the autism spectrum every day – Math PhD students! They are bright and funny and brilliant! Autism spectrum disorder won’t define Noah either, it just makes his brain work in a different beautiful way! Hang in there mama – the world is still his oyster!

  2. Try not to be afraid. He looks like a beautiful young lad. I’m an adult with autism. It is true it has held me back in some areas – mainly social communication and what they call ‘people skills’ – but in other areas I’ve done well – I have a degree from Cambridge University (UK) for instance. The future is still open to him even if he is autistic. They way I look at autism is that it just means that my brain developed in an unusual way with slightly different connections to other people’s brains. It’s not less – just different.
    I hope this helps.
    Jo

  3. I agree. My youngest son was diagnosed with a hearing loss at 5 weeks. Then at the age of 5 with ADHD. At the age of 8 he was diagnosed with Tourette syndrome and OCD. It has been a long journey. He is now 15 and doing well but he does have his challenges. He was implanted and speaks. He attends he home school. He needs other supports and has behavior issues but I love him to death. Have high expectations and keep up the good work.

  4. He’s so loved and that will mean the world to him along the way. I left you my email address on Instagram – feel free to email me and I can give you my number if you’d ever like to talk/text about our boys. I’m blessed to stay at home with my kids and I’ve made autism research my full time job. I’d be glad to share anything I find with you along the way. Our boys have wonderful lives and they’ll be safe and loved no matter what.

    • Thank you so much Monica. I’ll totally take you up on talking about the boys sometime and I’m going to shoot you and email so you can have my email address. I’d love for you to share anything you find with me. I feel I like I have so much to learn! Talk to you soon.

  5. I used to be a preschool teacher in an integrated class room that was 8 “community” kids (children with no known special needs) and with 8 special needs children. I have to say, from my experience, they ALL learn so much from each other. SO MUCH! It’s great that you are getting him what he needs now. There are so many parents that refuse to acknowledge that their children may need a little (and sometimes A LOT) of help. You are amazing parents doing everything you can for your littlest guy. It’s tough news to take in, but you are doing the best thing for him. You are advocating for him, trusting yourselves to make the best decisions for his care and education, but most importantly, loving him unconditionally, unrestricted, and with your whole hearts. That’s all any kid, special needs or not, ever really needs…

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