Home » Autism » I don’t read them

I don’t read them

It happens nearly every day…..a post pops up in my Facebook feed with an article on the early signs of autism. I used to read them. I don’t read them anymore.

Little Man was 7 years old when he was diagnosed, and in second grade. That’s kind of late for a diagnosis. And I kick myself frequently for not having him evaluated sooner.  Going back and reading things I wrote when he was four and five, sometimes even earlier, I see what it obvious now. I can’t undo what’s done. He was diagnosed, and we have help. I just wish we’d found out much earlier in his life.

I can’t read those articles on the “early signs of autism” because they hurt me.  They make me feel like I was an ignorant, naive mother living in the land of denial. In my defense, I tell myself he didn’t have the “typical” signs…he was very verbal from an early age, he was not delayed in any way physically, he didn’t line up his toys. Sure he had meltdowns and threw tantrums. He was a toddler. Nothing really seemed too far out of the ordinary. He seemed stubborn and too smart for his own good. It was only as he got older and the discrepancy between his social and emotional skills and those of his peers grew that we began to see. It was as he grew older and more rigid, we knew something wasn’t right. It was only as his meltdowns continued, his sensory issues grew, his need for order and structure became a full-time endeavor, we saw  how big his needs were, and began the evaluation process.

So why do I still beat myself up? I think that’s just a mother’s prerogative. It’s what we do. We’re so good at laying the guilt upon ourselves.  Those articles reinforce the words I hear in my own head of how I failed him. So I don’t read them. They don’t help me. They just make me feel bad.

9 thoughts on “I don’t read them

  1. I totally agree. I stopped reading those a long time ago. But I still kick myself many times for not being persistent with the doctors or for not realizing he was having seizures when he was a new born. I look at home videos from time to time and curse myself. But like you said. We are mothers. We are wired like that…

  2. Great post! You shouldn’t blame yourself for this, my son had some of the typical signs and some of the not-so-typical signs and when I told others about his delays I would get inundated with comments: “boys are slower than girls”, “I know a child who didn’t say a word until 5 and now talks in full sentences”, “You should wait until you’re sure because you don’t want to give him a label for the rest of his life”. These comments made me wait until a pediatrician had to spell it out to me when my son was 3 and even then I waited a few months for it to sink in before seeking diagnosis. There is so much push back with an autism diagnosis from people who only know the stigma attached to it that it makes us doubt ourselves even when we have been told by a medical professional. Focus on the progress and the strides your son has made since diagnosis because that is way more important than dwelling on the past 🙂

    • Gah!! That “you don’t want to give them a label” comment…ARGH!!! And you’re right – focusing on his progress is entirely more important. Thanks!

  3. I wouldn’t read it either. In your defense, it sounds like he wasn’t showing the typical signs. It was the same way with MJ. We originally thought he had a speech delay. Try not to beat yourself up. You are doing the best that you can now. Chin up😊

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