Understanding Bugaboo so that he can get the best support possible has been a journey. Many of you who have read my blog for a long time (and/or are part of our lives in real life) have watched us try to find the right therapies, go to various doctors and specialists, and then a year and a half ago get a diagnosis of mild cerebral palsy and "wait and see" on some other things.
The waiting and seeing was hard.
We continued with therapies. We tried preschool. We stuck with therapists that were working well (and that weren't taken from us after age three), and we found new therapists when others did not work well. Some circumstances this summer pushed us forward even more in trying to unlock the mystery of our youngest child. The crying spells and meltdowns increased. Bug gained more words and the ability to speak more, but the communication did not improve and the echolalia became more noticeable, more frequent. The gap between how his peers interacted with each other and how our son did not interact with them grew even wider. It is a hard thing to observe this on a playground or in a Sunday school room.
So with the recommendation of our pediatrician, we recently took Bugaboo in for an evaluation. We knew what they were going to tell us. I taught elementary school. The Hubs works in the psychology field. Everything was there in the DSM (IV and V) for us to check off.
But it's one thing to know the label your child is going to be given, and it is another thing to sit at a table and have an expert with all the paperwork tell you that label. It is not a surprise, but it is still a shock.
In a matter of moments many of your hopes are dashed, your prayers are not answered the way you wanted them to be, and your dreams for your child's future become fuzzy.
I drove home with the boys in the minivan. Unfortunately it was Bubby's day to pick the radio station, so I didn't even have uplifting or memorable music on the ride home. I don't know why this is important to the story, but I felt a bit frustrated by it yesterday. The rest of the day had to continue. There was dinner to make, laundry to avoid, and bedtime stories to read.
A wise and trusted friend who has had a similar journey reminded me that Bugaboo is still the same Bugaboo and "God is still the same God, no matter what terminology we use to describe him." And it was comforting and true to hear that. Today was the same as the days before our new diagnosis. We got up, went to therapy, did some things at home, met friends to eat lunch and to play, and so on.
I have fears though, tonight. I fear that the label Bug has been given will make some people view him differently or treat him differently- even more differently than they might already view/treat him. But I have no control over what people think or do. And so I share with those of you who have been on this long journey with us that the journey is really only beginning. Bugaboo has been given an autism diagnosis. There is a lot for our family still to process, questions we have, fears we are facing, but we have been given the grace to get through our questions and fears today.
He's still the same Bugaboo he was the yesterday, the same Bug he was last week and last month. And I love him so incredibly much. What a blessed woman am I that I get to be his mama - not because he has CP or autism - but because he is Bugaboo, my son.