It’s been an emotional weekend. OK, not that emotional. But we haven’t had an emotional moment in a long time, so this is novel.
Early last week, my little big guy had the opportunity to participate in a study of evaluation tools used to diagnose Autism. Some new experimental evaluations were used, and are being considered for use in a nationwide study following 100,000 pregnancies until the children turn 21 years old, of which at least 1,000 are expected to have Autism. It was more work than we expected, with my guy sitting at a table for two to three hours at a time. Along with the experimental tools, some established evaluations were used, and we received the results at the end of the week.
My guy’s provider wanted him to participate in the study, because she wanted him evaluated using those tests either way, and was anxious to see the results. She saw that he was doing well, so she wanted to confirm his diagnosis. Many of his other providers also questioned his diagnosis, but I know he has challenges. One of the tests evaluated his communication, social, and emotional skills, and confirmed his diagnosis. A part of me was hoping to find vast improvement, but the results brought the sad news we already knew. The results don’t mean he hasn’t improved, though. It shows he certainly doesn’t have a severe case.
The other test measured his ability to learn, as best it could for a child this young. She was shocked at how well he did. She said she has never had a child do that well. She said he’s incredibly bright, and his ability will only increase as he gets older and better understands how to take the test correctly. This further confirms his diagnosis, as it rules out other, more debilitating, conditions.
These tests brought some good news and bad news, but there is no reason to stop praying for recovery. He has come a very long way in the last ten months. I can’t wait to see how far he will go.
Over the weekend, at nap time, he brought me a book to read, like he does. It was his first words book. I immediately opened it and started having him name the things I pointed to, not even thinking about the fact that we haven’t read that book together since before we started services. As he labeled all the pictures in the book, with excellent articulation, I was suddenly overcome with emotion. As I looked at the images, I was taken back to evenings after work, trying to get him to sit down and look at the book. He didn’t want to sit and look. When I did get him to sit, I couldn’t get him to look where I was looking. I had tried to get him to repeat words I said, and he was silent. He didn’t even want to point at pictures I named. I remembered feeling like he might never talk, or even understand what I was saying.
This guy has worked so hard, even with that particular book with teachers. It’s amazing to see him enjoy the book with a sweet, innocent grin, after so many nights of being upset by it. He wasn’t scarred by his challenges, which seemed so devastating to me at the time.
Even the toughest things can be overcome, and I am forever grateful to him for setting the example for me, of true hope and faith. I praise God for His healing touch and making the impossible look like child’s play.
Usually the hard times are emotional, but sometimes good news and great progress can be equally overwhelming. I’ll take it!