Different, Perhaps. But Perfect, Still.

October 2, 2008 at 4:12 pm 7 comments

This beautiful specimen of a little girl is our 3 year old daughter, Sara.  She loves her Daddy and me, adores her twin brother Max, enjoys watching Little Einsteins, playing on the computer, grapes, Kix cereal, her pink Dora Crocs, dancing to the Grease soundtrack, preschool and her beloved pink bear blanket that she sleeps with and carries with her nearly all day, everyday.

For the last year or so, a pang in my belly told me something was amiss with my sweet baby girl.  This intuitive growl prompted me to have her evaluated by her pediatrician a few months back, who, after spending nearly an hour with us, declared her “fine”, albeit with the caveat that we get her hearing tested.  So, we did, and Miss Sara Jean passed her audiology tests with pizazz and flying colors.  I put the feeling to rest, temporarily, thinking I simply was looking for something that wasn’t there and didn’t exist to explain why she acted out so often, and didn’t converse much, and hardly made eye contact with us and constantly recited songs and televison dialogue.

After her second week of preschool, her teacher pulled me aside at dropoff one morning and suggested we schedule Sara for a free, developmental screening the school offered to “rule out” any issues that might hinder her school experience.  I begrudgingly agreed, and badly attempting to keep my emotions in check, I headed straight for Susan’s house where I proceeded to drip cry-snot all over her couch because WHO in the WORLD tells ME that my baby isn’t perfect!  SERIOUSLY!

At press time, we’re working with several medical professionals in addition to her teachers to come up with a diagnosis.  Personally, D and I believe we’ve found something that fits Sara’s behaviors almost to a tee and explains away many of the more unconventional behaviors she’s exhibited since toddlerhood.

We think our daughter suffers from autism, more specifically, Asperger’s Syndrome.

Granted, I’m not a doctor, nor do I claim any medical background except for that one year I worked for a Chiropractor.  I’m armed with nothing more than an unrelenting Mother’s intuition, a gut feeling and the DSM iv.  But, when I read other parents’ accounts of their children who suffer from Asperger’s, I can’t help but bawl and wail.  Why?  Because it’s as though I’m reading about MY kid.  All of it.  The hand flapping.  The constant recitation of dialogue.  The lack of eye contact.  The social awkwardness.  The developmentally appropriate level of speech.  It’s ALL there.

So.  Here we are, waiting.  Waiting for someone to tell us…what?  That our daughter has autism?  I’m dying a little bit each time I say the words out loud, so I don’t.  The logical part of me knows this means nothing, really, that the sun will rise and she’ll wake up tomorrow and crawl into bed with her glowing blue eyes, take the binky from her mouth and sweetly say, “Good morning, Momma!” And we’ll curl up together, she’ll kick me in the belly as a sign to wake the frack up, and we’ll carry on with our days.

But, my heart.  Oh, my heart is aching and scared.

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Entry filed under: Momma Drama.

Bailout, Schmailout Grab Roget’s and Turn to Hopeless*

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. bobbi  |  October 3, 2008 at 7:31 am

    I’m thinking of all of you Sherry…

    Reply
  • 2. BrendaS  |  October 3, 2008 at 7:22 pm

    *sigh* I’m so sorry honey. Why didn’t you call me? I would have gladly lent you my couch to snot on. Couch, shoulder.. whatever. *hugs*

    Reply
  • 3. Christy  |  October 4, 2008 at 12:13 pm

    This was my son at age 3. You’re doing great at getting it diagnosed early. The sooner you can get therapies started, the better. We had a couple of hard years and one EXTREMELY bad summer. We still struggle daily but any bad days we have now remind me of our good days a year or two ago.

    Now he is 5. He still recites tv shows, sings every song he’s ever heard, and memorizes people’s names. He has a hard time answering open-ended questions but he is becoming more competent with language. He can also play the piano like nobody’s business and can read. He is in a mainstream kindergarten classroom and needs help mainly to stay focused. Other than that, he’s like all the other kids in his grade—rambunctious, funny, and clever.

    Get a good group of people around you and it can help immensely!

    Reply
  • 4. Lala  |  October 4, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    I know how you feel sweetie. Each time I think of my son in those terms my heart breaks a little more. If this is what it is you’ve caught it early and you can get help. Also you’ll learn how to parent her differently, something I never did and it makes a huge difference.

    Reply
  • 5. Rebekah  |  October 4, 2008 at 8:01 pm

    Sherry, I can’t imagine how incredibly overwhelming this must be. I am very sorry that you are looking at this trial personally and I wish for you much grace and strength.

    I know right now is probably not the time to read this, while you are still just starting to get a specific diagnosis for Sara, etc. but last week Jenny McCarthy was on Oprah talking about her journey with her son who has Aspergers and the book she has written about it. Here is an Amazon link, if you are interested: http://www.amazon.com/Mother-Warriors-Parents-Healing-Against/dp/0525950699

    It is called Mother Warrior. I think you are just that, exactly.

    Blessings …

    Reply
  • 6. Dee  |  October 13, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    Hoping that you’ll soon get some answers and a plan of action.

    Thinking of you four….

    Reply
  • 7. Monica  |  October 18, 2008 at 4:30 pm

    I’m sorry, Sherry. It sounds like an awful experience. I hope Monday brings some peace and a plan of action. You rock. You will get through this.

    Reply

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