Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Autism Spectrum Disorder... (I hate those words)

In March Logan was diagnosed with Impulse Control Disorder. Upon that diagnosis I was sure that that was what we were dealing with. Originally I had obsessed that I thought Logan was mildly autistic, but after the ICD diagnosis and researching it, I had pushed autism out of my mind. We have been treating the ICD with little success. The meds that he has taken for the ICD have failed us time and time again, with the impression that his body/brain is constantly growing and changing.

Yesterday we had an appointment with Logan's psychiatrist for our monthly check-in. I took along all of the notes from the meetings we've had, all teacher comments, "think about it" papers, phone call documentation, etc. Lately he has been really out of sorts both at school and at home and his behavior/meltdowns have become really bad again. It has resulted in him being sent home from school and us not really being able to go out in public without completely disrupting everyone else around us. This behavior carried over into her office as well - he was doing a lot of spinning (which the teacher has made several comments about), going around touching all of the plants over and over, pulling his hair, etc...there were just a lot of mannerisms that she was actually able to witness first hand that we witness on a daily basis.

After taking a deep breath she threw us the curve ball. She is certain after observing Logan for the past 9+ months that he indeed does have Autism Spectrum Disorder - more specifically Aspergers. She combined the testing/observations from when he was inpatient with the school notes and the observations she has taken in her office to make this diagnosis. She reassured us that she tried to wait as long as she could and be 100 percent certain before labeling our boy. She went on to explain why this was the right diagnosis and how the medications will be altered to try and better suit him...but I was in a zone.

I have had family and friends ask me how I am taking the news... I guess I don't know really. It's not terrible. I just wasn't prepared to hear it yesterday honestly. I think I had kind of ruled it out, although I knew there was something "not right" with my little man. I have wanted to know what "IT" is for a long time - and I didn't think I would ever find out what "IT" to hear those words "Logan is on the autism spectrum. He has Aspergers." just punched me in the stomach. I would ideally like to punch autism in the face... My emotions have been so up and down. I think about how Logan is considered highly functioning for the autism spectrum and I am thankful. I think about how smart he is and I am thankful. I think about how parents have lost their children and I have mine and this is nothing compared to what others have had to endure and I am thankful. I really am...but then I think about how this stupid disease/disorder/disability/whatever-you-want-to-call-it has invaded my child - taken away a part of my sweet boy - and it pisses me off. Then I have the emotions of "what did I do wrong?" haunting me. Was it because I had the kidney issues during my pregnancy? Was it the invasive kidney surgery that I approved because they said I had no other choice? Was it the prescriptions I had to take? So many whys. I don't know - I just know those questions will ALWAYS haunt me. I cannot hardly speak the words without tears - and that is so not like me. I am a strong person and I don't normally cry, but to say those words just hurts. I had hopes of him outgrowing the impulse control disorder. You cannot outgrow autism.

We are taking it one day at a time. I am praying that having this diagnosis will make getting special help at his school easier. At the end of the day Logan is still Logan and I love him to the moon and back. Nothing will ever change my love for him and I will always be here to help him in whatever life goals he sets. He is smart. He will achieve great things, I just know it. So we are calling this a special gift and not a disability. God made our Logan special and we will move forward like we have been doing and make progress (even if it is one step forward, two steps back)!

Thank you all for being such amazing supporters. My hope is that I will be able to connect with other parents who are going through the same journey - or maybe even one day I will be able to help parents the way I have had some awesome special needs mommas help me. I have been blessed.



  1. Honey, Autism is treatable!! My child is walking proof!! There is hope and guess what, despite what others will tell you, parents are curing their children from Autism. I belong to "the other side" of Autism, one filled with prayer and a different way to treat Autism than your traditional western based physician. It's beautiful over here but it's A LOT of hard work but when you see major gains you can't stop and it just makes working for your child that much more important. As you take time to process the diagnosis, you'll soon find yourself on a plan to recovery with Logan and you will be one tough mama to get in the way of! There is a term for tough Autism mommies, it's called, "Warrior Mom" (and dads!). You're one of us now and you'll find nothing but love and support in this community:)

  2. Autumn, Maybe some day we can talk, if you like. I heard the word autism 20 years ago for Kalisha and Asperger's was added only 3 years ago. The MIMH has been there from one year old.
    I am writing a book about our steps on this journey.