Archives for January 2014
Then vs. Now
This is the concluding segment in a series where family members of children and teens on the autism spectrum reflect on the day they first learned about the diagnosis.
On the day that a child receives a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder, many parents launch into an exhaustive search for information, answers and therapies. It seems to be an almost universal experience that Diagnosis Day results in a marathon session of searching keywords online and reading any and every link available.
As mentioned in previous posts, I attended therapy for a period of several years and it marked a major turning point in my life. I had a positive experience as a direct result of those sessions, which were largely focused on learning about the autism spectrum and managing depression. (You can see samples of our discussion in this post about social data, and this post about depression).
What I haven’t mentioned: those sessions were with the second psychologist I spoke with. The first psychologist I went to? Complete disaster.
For people on the spectrum, feeling a sense of connection to others can be a real challenge…not because of autistic traits (I think this is largely a myth). What makes it challenging is that others have a habit of seeing only what they want to see.
As a result, it’s very easy to feel “invisible” around others. Not because you’re “shut down” or hiding…but because others can be blinded by labels and expectations.