Sunday, July 19, 2009

Matthew's diagnosis - Autism.

We were awaiting the results of the testing from the New York Department of Health and we were anxious about it because we were not sure of what to expect and we were concerned because Matthew seemed delayed in speaking and his eye contact was not consistent. We were relieved the results of the surgery with the tubes worked out nicely.

I remember we received a follow up call from the woman who came to the house and did her evaluation and testing. She was very nice over the phone and was very matter of fact in her conversation. In speaking with us I asked her if we could pick up the phone call on 2 lines so Maria could listen in and she said that she preferred that so we would both hear what she had to say. Before she spoke further I asked her if she felt the results of the tests were an accurate read on our son and she said she had full confidence in the results and she was calling to inform us on the next steps we needed to take. So she continued on in her conversation and indicated that Matthew would certainly benefit from the Early intervention program and had been approved. We felt that this was a positive step and then listened further to what she had to say. She then mentioned for us to listen and just be open to her findings. She mentioned in her experience of dealing with young children and babies who's responses were similar to Matthew's that it was her professional opininion that Matthew was on the Autistic spectrum and had a condition called Asperger's syndrome which was named after a doctor in Austria who recognized this condition in children years ago who had difficulties in developing speech and interacting socially. These children also often have a difficult time with verbalizing and making eye contact. Based on what she was saying to us we felt somewhat relieved that he was diagnosed with someting that was on the medical landscape's radar. We were a bit surprised and in shock too. We wanted our son to be perfect in every way and we knew we would be there every step of the way for him and would do everything necessary to provide a loving, supporting and nurturing home for him despite any medical concerns we may have. We agreed with the woman representative that we were interested in pursuing the early intervention program and would need to be advised as to how we were to continue and properly enroll him. She indicated that the paperwork was mailed and included the recommended program and diagnoses that she briefly discussed with us. She said we should complete it as soon as possible so they can start sending the early intervention program agency representatives to the house for the recommended time allowed. She also mentioned that we should not be discouraged and just look at this as an opportunity to provide the needed support system in place for our son and to take advantage of the resources that are available to us for children diagnosed with early disabilities. She wished us the best of luck and said we have a very cute boy and she could always be reached if we had questions or concerns. We felt very appreciative and thanked her and now realized we had a special child and we had to provide all the needed support and resources we can to help him. I realized my work had only just begun and now had to stay focused and very open minded and draw from the strength of family and hold on to hope. I realized more than ever how much I loved my wife and our son, a very special little boy!

I thanked God for providing us our little Matthew and asked him for his guidance and to provide us with the strength and hope necessary to face the challenges ahead of us.

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