It would be a few weeks before we received the written report (which I still cannot read without tears), but our psychologist was very confident in her determination that he had autism and an intellectual disability.
One year on any feelings I once had that she was overstating have long disappeared.
When he was assessed, an awful lot rested on my own observations of his behaviour and his infancy. If he were to go through the process today it would be immediately obvious to anyone with experience that he is autistic. His behaviours are noticeably different to those of other children, the gap between his verbal ability and that of other kids his age has widened substantially. Where I once thought he may possibly be bordering on the edges of the spectrum, I now know he is firmly entrenched within it.
So many things have changed in the past year. There was a period of grieving and an inability to fully accept what it all meant for us. Then we had our older son assessed and diagnosed too. It was less of a shock by then, but still very challenging.
I am grateful we had the assessment early enough to start accessing help for our Little Mate quite early. One year on there is still no sign that he will be picked up for Early Intervention because
I am glad that this year has passed. Grateful to be past the initial kick in the guts.
My son is growing up, as children do. Sometimes we see great leaps in his abilities. Other times it feels like we are at a standstill or even moving backwards. Such is the nature of the disorder I am discovering.
But nothing changes the fact that he is my beautiful son. For a while I found it hard to see past his diagnosis. Now I see only him and know that autism is just a part of his genetic make up, along with his blue eyes and brown hair.
It gets better. It truly does.