Did a guest post on my friend Genevieve's blog again this morning, but I figured I'd post it here, as well as on my parenting blog.
So, getting an official diagnosis of autism hasn't made everything as different as I thought it might. I guess I was a little surprised that my son was diagnosed as autistic rather than having Asperger's syndrome, but since there is a list of criteria that gets checked off, if you have enough checkmarks under the autism umbrella, that diagnosis trumps Asperger's.
The phrase "high-functioning" was mentioned a lot, though that wasn't much of a surprise, as Brody has taken recently to becoming a walking billboard, writing "www.thx.com" on his arm and filling up reams of paper with all his favorite words.
An official diagnosis, I suppose, not only gives us a starting point, but it will make getting assistance for him a little easier. I hope.
But in the big picture, not a lot has changed. After all, he's still my son. He still does all the goofy and amazing things he's always done. I think it's important not to lose sight of that.
My wife will likely roll her eyes so hard she will see into the past when I say this, but when I think about talking to my son sometimes, I'm reminded of the episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation where Captain Picard is on a planet with an alien captain who speaks in metaphor. So instead of things like "Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra," it's "She's gone and I'll never see her again," which is something he says when he's sad or overwhelmed. It's from an episode of Spongebob Squarepants.
I think this is hardest on my wife, because she has to deal with both of us. But even then, knowing the reason behind something makes it a little easier to understand. Of course, knowing why your husband is obsessed with old TV commercials and crappy movies probably doesn't help when it comes to you know, actually helping to take care of the kids, but she's pretty awesome.
So it's kind of an adventure for the whole family. We never know quite where the day will take us, and we don't know what TV show or movie Mr. Total Recall will use to convey a point (seriously, it's a little eerie watching him perform stuff he's seen only once. He gets the inflection down pat and everything), but underneath it all, he's a great kid, and I love watching him grow up.
Perhaps some day I'll join him.