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Family Health

Why I’m Thankful for My Son’s Autism Diagnosis

Feb 12, 2019

When my son was diagnosed with autism, it wasn't a surprise. After all, we pushed to have him assessed for autism in the first place so we were kind of already expecting a diagnosis of some sort.

I do remember crying that day.

Not because I was scared or grieving, but because I was just so relieved.

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Having that official diagnosis in hand is huge.

After months of wait lists and assessments, we had the official diagnosis in hand and my concerns were finally validated. We had an answer; an answer that would soon open the door to new services, better support, funding and more.

I'm thankful for my son's autism diagnosis.

Many people might think that's a strange thing to be thankful for. Especially those who think labeling our children is a bad thing, or those who view autism as some kind of negative.

But here's the thing: Having that official diagnosis in hand is huge.

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Being officially diagnosed with autism helped us access better supports for my son at school.

Sure, I have to advocate hard most days and I may have to phone the school board every once in a while to give them an earful, but having an official diagnosis allows him to have an individualized education plan and puts accommodations in place for him to be successful at school.

Being officially diagnosed also means that he can better understand who he is and how he thinks.

Being officially diagnosed can sometimes introduce you to new terms to help you understand your child.

There have been many times where he makes comments about how his brain operates and it's honestly fascinating to me that he describes his mind as a camera, for instance. He has questions about why his brain gets stuck sometimes and we can easily explain to him that having autism means that his brain works a bit differently sometimes.

Being officially diagnosed can sometimes introduce you to new terms to help you understand your child.

For us, those new terms were hyperlexia and hypernumeracy.

Boy, did those two words ever rock our world!

I always wondered why my son could read and spell as a toddler, but found conversations and spoken language so difficult. It was because we had never heard of hyperlexia and hypernumeracy. Learning more about those terms helped us better understand how he processes and sees the world. It gave us insight into how to help him learn best and I'm forever grateful that the psychologist brought up those two words that day.

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Being officially diagnosed also allows you to access funding and tax credits, easing the financial stress that often accompanies having your child in ongoing therapy.

Supporting an autistic child can get expensive. We could probably spend a couple hundred of dollars per month on chewable necklaces and pencil toppers alone for my son because he needs those tools and often chews through them within hours. So being able to qualify for things like the Disability Tax Credit can help offset those costs. Without an official diagnosis, we wouldn't be able to apply for such funding or even continue to afford therapy.

And finally, getting my son diagnosed helped me to become a better person. Cheesy, I know, but hear me out...

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His diagnosis has definitely made me more patient.

Because of my son's diagnosis, I've gotten to know autistic adults, read about neurodiversity, learn everything I can about autism and the other diagnoses my son has, and generally, just better educate myself as a person. Through this educational process, I am gaining better insight and understanding about my son so that I can parent him better and give him the tools he needs to grow into a great person himself.

His diagnosis has definitely made me more patient. And even more tolerant. I give extra time and grace to those around me who need it because I simply understand that each of us process the world through a different lens.

So if you have been hesitant to pursue a diagnosis for your child for whatever reason, then remind yourself that there's often a lot of good that comes along with the official diagnosis. You'll be thankful that you got your child diagnosed. I promise.

Article Author Dyan Robson
Dyan Robson

Read more from Dyan here.

Married to her high school sweetheart, Dyan is mom to two boys, J and K, who also teaches piano out of her home. On her blog And Next Comes L, Dyan shares her story of raising a child with hyperlexia, hypernumeracy and autism, amongst a variety of sensory activities for kids. You can find out more about their story on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and Google+.


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