Thursday, June 5, 2014

Autism and Perspective

I sometimes pinch myself thinking why is this diagnosis of PDD Autism making me feel relieved? Why is it that I am not upset, angry, or in denial? I know many parents who hear these words, break down with sadness, denial and complete anger but for me it has brought the full picture into view as to what makes Selena tick. We can now settle down, not worry over what or why things are affecting her so bad, and get on to learning and discovering the things that will help her.

Instead of trying to prevent her from picking up every single piece of grass that got left in the driveway from the lawn mower, the whole time hearing her state, "Grass is suppose to be in the grass!" I find myself walking along allowing her to finish the task at hand. I know if I don't it will just eat her up inside, and every time she looks out the window, or goes outside, she will feel such disapproval, her stomach will feel ill, which will soon turn into an uncontrollable anger. For as much grass as she picks up, the less she wants to hold it in her hand, and begs me to hold it for her, now excuse me, if she is going to pick up the grass then she can hold it or go dump it back in the yard, I do have my limits.

I now understand why she suddenly jumps to the other side of the sidewalk when we are out for an evening walk, it could be anything from a small limb from a tree, or a rock that just seems out of place to her. I get it now when she stops dead in her tracks with a look on her face of what now, over the little things we miss, such as a change in the texture of the sidewalk under her feet, or the fact it just doesn't look the same as the rest of the sidewalk to her.

It hasn't all been easy to put into perspective, especially when faced with do we medicate or not. None of us want to medicate our children, and I say don't judge when a parent chooses to do so. While I agree some may choose to medicate so they don't have to deal with the outbursts, or it gives them a sense of relief, but I know there are many who are in our shoes who do so for the child. You see without the medication, Selena would put herself in grave danger with her meltdowns. Her anxieties had her so tied up in knots all the times that one has to ask how could she be enjoying life, well to be honest we watched her zest for the fun things slipping away. Yes, we did choose to medicate her, and feel very lucky we have a good psychiatrist, who helped us find a medication that doesn't rob Selena from us, doesn't make her a zombie, though she is a little tired at times, she still feels everything, still expresses her anxieties, but remains calm in the storm, or I should say calmer.

We are off on a new chapter in our journey.

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  1. I am glad that new meds are working. It's interesting to see how Smarty and Selena are different. Smarty is a "big picture" person - she can easily forget things at home or at school and having things "out of place" doesn't bother her at all - in fact, she almost prefers change. Yet, they both need security and approval of people closest to them, and it's great that you are so accepting of Selena's diagnosis.

  2. You're right, the decision is one for each family to make, and you've made the right one for YOUR family, and we can all see it's the right one for ya'll.

  3. I am so glad she is doing better. The diagnosis with Katie was like that for me as well. I was relieved to find out why she behaved the way she did. But when I got the diagnosis for Alex, I did cry because he was so young...less than 2 years old.