Why I Will Celebrate My Son's Autism Diagnosis
At the end of this month, my husband and I have two important anniversaries:
1. Our “dating” anniversary.
2. Our son’s autism diagnosis anniversary.
That first one is something some people may celebrate. The second? Maybe not.
My husband and I started dating in 2001. That’s 17 years of togetherness. We don’t necessarily “celebrate” this day, but we at least acknowledge it. This day was a really important day in history, well, our history at least, because that’s when “we” began. “We” wouldn’t be here if not for this important milestone.
This will be the first year that we celebrate our son’s “autism diagnosis day.”
Do people celebrate getting an autism diagnosis? Acknowledge it? Commemorate it? Throw a party? Ignore it?
I for one, will be celebrating it.
Why I Will Celebrate My Son’s Autism Diagnosis
Before we knew for sure our son had autism, the unknown was difficult to make sense of.
I knew something was “wrong,” but what was it? A whole slew of diagnoses fluttered around in my brain every day as I questioned why he was behind his same-aged peers: developmental delay, cognitive impairment, sensory processing disorder, hearing loss, auditory processing disorder… my mind never stopped worrying about the “what if’s.”
The unknown was hard and scary and stressful. When I didn’t have an answer, I questioned everything.
Why is he doing this?
Why isn’t he doing that?
What do I need to do?
Will he ever get better?
Where will he be this time next year?
Will he ever learn new things?
What is “wrong” with my baby?!
Then, he got his autism diagnosis. It was “official.”
We had an answer. With that answer, we had an explanation. He was different… because autism!
Once the unknown became known, my stress level drastically decreased. We knew what it was. We could move forward with our lives, albeit a different direction than I would have ever planned, but forward nevertheless. We are children of the 80s, so my husband always quotes G.I. Joe, and I think it’s relevant here: “knowing is half the battle!”
This year, we will celebrate the day of our son’s autism diagnosis, because we will always celebrate my son. He is my wonderful, amazing, smart, beautiful boy. We appreciate all of his great qualities — and autism just happens to be one of them! It is part of the little boy that we all love to pieces.
I will celebrate because I am proud of him, diagnosis and all.
I will celebrate because (to quote my favorite Bearded Lady from “The Greatest Showman”) he is who he’s meant to be.
I will celebrate because I understand that there isn’t anything “wrong” or “broken” about him… he’s just different.
I will celebrate, because his autism diagnosis has brought some of the most amazing people into our lives. Our autism community is truly the best.
I will celebrate because God has taken my worst fear and turned it into my passion and testimony.
Also, I will celebrate, because celebrations involve cake. I’m always up for cake.