Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Day My World Stopped

To the families who are just receiving their child's diagnosis, hang in there! Here is a short summary of what it felt like on that life changing day. I hope you can find some comfort in reading this.

I remember the numbness that overcame my body after hearing the words, “Trenton has autism.”  It was August 2, 2012 just two weeks shy of his second birthday. I knew in my heart that he had autism but hearing it from a professional takes the waves of emotions to a whole new level.

We had already been through hell and back in Trenton’s first two years of his life. Nothing made sense from what he had put us through the past year. Yet, it all made sense now with one word, autism.

As I felt my body go numb, I could feel the room spinning around me.

“Don’t pass out Angie.” I kept telling myself. I looked at the doctor as she was talking to us but I can’t exactly tell you what she was saying. Her lips were simply moving to me but I didn’t hearing anything after the word autism.

How could this be happening? Why my child? Why God why?

I finally collected myself. “What do we do now?” I asked fumbling over my words.

The doctor went on to explain how she would write a script for ST, OT, and ABA.  That’s it? I kept asking myself.  Finally, I asked her what I had been thinking and sadly, she said, “Yes that is it. Just get him in as much therapy as possible in order to give him the most productive life that he can have.”

Soon we were walking out of her office with only a script for therapy. How could this be happening?

The two hour car ride home that day was silent. Not one word was uttered between my husband and I. Our world seemed to have stopped. Yet at the same time, every one else’s was going strong.  I kept looking at our sweet little boy in the back seat. He was so precious. So sweet. Yet, he just received his life changing diagnosis that would forever rock our world.

The days following his diagnosis seem like a blur. I was a special education teacher at that time and I started my school year. I walked into work every day after being up all night with my child who never slept. I was sleep deprived to say the least.  I heard story after story of everyone’s fun summer vacations. I heard about everyone’s fun weekends. Their life was still going on but mine had still stopped! My child just received a diagnosis of autism. How can the world still keep going?

I learned rather quickly how to face my fears and how to put one foot in front of the other foot. The world that stopped for me slowly started up again. However, the world I once knew was gone and we welcomed a new world. A world full of OT, ST, and ABA quickly started.  I soon realized that our new world wasn’t so bad even during its times of tribulations and trials.  It may just be a little harder than the average family but it is an amazing world once you accept it. It is a very unique journey that God blessed me with and I am forever thankful!

I will never forget how I felt the day of Trenton’s diagnosis. Unfortunately, I went through the same numbness with my second child a year and a half later when he received his diagnosis. The world may stop for you during your child’s diagnosis but once  your world starts up again, it is an amazing ride.

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