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Easily Distracted By Shiny Things
Meanderings from the City of the Red Castle
It's official. Joseph had his language assessment 2 weeks ago, and… 
4th-May-2015 02:28 pm
It's official.

Joseph had his language assessment 2 weeks ago, and his general assessment last Wednesday. His speech issues are exactly as we thought, no surprises.

His general assessment really wasn't a surprise either, to me. Apparently either I have been extremely negligent in discussing my concerns and thoughts with my husband, or Colin tried so hard to put the possibility out of his mind so as not to trigger his anxiety disorder that he let himself be blindsided instead. (Colin is the one who suggested the latter, not I. I have to confess, between discussions with his mom and mine, I might well have thought he and I addressed it more than we did.)

Joseph has autism spectrum disorder.

He's what they would call high-functioning, and not just because he's obviously smart - he does express affection at times, and even as we got him assessed, his language use is improving, with more spontaneous sentences, and more mimicry (touch is still his best tool for communication). But even some signs of his brightness are themselves flags - his level of interest and obsession with numbers, his ability to memorize and cite songs and books. It helped that there's a boy in his class who's also high-functioning autistic, and bright and interested in Joseph, and when she and I discussed our boys, we described a lot of the same behaviours and tendencies. (she also remarked on how much she sees her younger daughter doing that she didn't see with her son, in hindsight.). Those conversations I know I didn't share.

Another tool helping to prepare me is, well, seeing others go through the same process in public. So yes, posts like that matter.

In spite of this not being a surprise to me, and in spite of the fact that an accurate assessment will help provide services and tools for teaching him how to cope with his weaknesses, it left me fretful and depressed, a reaction I suspect is more based on the bogeyman version of autism than the reality, at least as far as our boy's level and degree.

Colin's anxiety shot through the roof on the spot, and he feels he has a lot more catching up to do. I really feel like I failed on good wifing. :P

That's where we stand until we have a chance to get to some information sessions and further appointments. Probably steady through the summer.


Alexander is doing very well, for a one month old. I think he's learning to smile.

(And on a whole other topic, yes, [personal profile] leonacarver, that's your book that snuck in the picture. Finished now, and liked it better than Piper.)

Everything is crossposted to DW and LJ until further notice. Post comments here or there. (Comments at DW: comment count unavailable)
4th-May-2015 08:57 pm (UTC)
What a lovely lovely photo!

It's good that you are getting a game plan.
5th-May-2015 03:59 pm (UTC)
5th-May-2015 08:25 am (UTC)
It's tough getting a diagnosis like that. It takes a while for it to settle in. The swings through guilt and loss are real, even if the things you blame yourself for and the things you feel you've lost are illusory.

But in the end, what's real is the people, and the love. That's what will see you through.

(I can't explain why I know this, for Reasons, but I do, from the inside.)
5th-May-2015 03:59 pm (UTC)

Joseph is still very much Joseph, and I adore him.
5th-May-2015 06:01 pm (UTC)
It's hard. Even when you know it doesn't change who he is, and it will help you to better understand and support him and his needs. But it takes time to adjust, and it means there will be different challenges...

All of which you know, I'm sure. So I'll just offer hugs and support for your whole family.
6th-May-2015 12:12 am (UTC)
Thanks, Jim.

It's always that difference between intellectual knowledge and emotional conviction.
6th-May-2015 07:06 pm (UTC) - it's official
Big hugs. It's hard to hear the news, but it's the best first step to helping him. If you'd like to talk, or some ideas, give me a call. I've worked (and am still working) with many special needs and autistic children.

More hugs
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