This coming Thursday, September 30th, 2010 marks the 5th anniversary of Reece's diagnosis with Autism Spectrum Disorder. I've been doing a lot of soul searching in the last week or two as I come to terms with what this has meant to our family. Luckily (?) I started my blog back in 2005, so this entire process - or rather, what I decided to share about it online - is available for me to peruse at my leisure.
This is a good and a bad thing.
It's good because Years 1-2 are a blur. Right after Reece was diagnosed, we started on the diagnosis process for Austin. So within an 8 month time span, 2 of my 3 children were diagnosed as being on the Autism Spectrum. It was a scary time. The doctor gave me a very bleak outlook on Reece's future. I didn't share all of that publicly. It was way too awful. And then when Austin was diagnosed, that doctor blasted homeschooling over and over again. I sank into myself for a very long time, and I just don't recall very much of what was going on around me. It was so much of a blur of tests and speech therapy and occupational therapy. And worst of all, I was very, very angry with God for what seemed like a very, very long time.
It's bad because reading back in the posts brings all those horrible feelings back to me. I spent so much time being upset that I didn't pick up on this stuff sooner. That I didn't listen to what other people were telling me and recognize that my children were not developing typically. That I didn't listen to preschool teachers (and a Kindergarten teacher) that were telling me that something was off. Instead, I proudly stuck my head in the sand and said that you couldn't put my round box in a square box. I beat myself up for years over all the things I did wrong. And for every post that's on the blog, there are echoes of the posts I typed and never submitted. There are echoes of the tears that I cried into my pillow every night for years.
But in the end, it's good. Because it shows me (better than my very subjective memory can) how far we've come. And not just the kids... but me as well.