About this blog.

My son was diagnosed with PDD-NOS at 24 months. I created this blog to bring meaning to the often-confusing label. Sometimes I have answers. Other times, just more questions.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Lies I Told Myself

When Brad was flagged for autism spectrum at 24 months, I was floored. Floored. I had no clue. Even though he displayed early signs of autism.

How did I keep my head in the sand? Here, I present the top 3 lies I told myself:

Lie #1: "He's just a boy." I got a lot of denial mileage out of this one. After all, boys speak later than girls, and are less socially attuned. As the 24 month mark approached, that lie became less viable.

Lie #2: "He's independent because he's a younger sib and my attention is divided." This is the way younger sibs are supposed to be, I reasoned. Even though he had no - and I mean zero - separation anxiety as a baby. I rationalized that this is because I didn't carry Brad around as much and cater to his every cry, as I did when Jeremy was a baby.

Lie #3: "He's late to speak because his older sib talks for him." Seemed reasonable enough. No reason to be concerned about language delay.

12 comments:

Tilly said...

It's not surprising at all that you told yourself those things - my Health Visitor said pretty much the same about Nipper as she's the person who should be able to spot any developmental issues. She told me that he was 'a boy' and that he 'knew his own mind' and was 'awkward and stubborn'. If the health professionals can't tell then it's hardly surprising that we as parent's don't realise.

Michelle said...

I ot alot of those "lies" suggested to me by well-meaning family whenever I expressed concerns over Liam's development.

Caitlin Wray said...

Laura, I have no less than eight - EIGHT! - books on raising boys - all bought in response to the issues that arose with Simon when he began school.

While I still do believe some of the issues are mainly "boy" based, and that the education system overall is not designed to be conducive to many boy learners, I do have to shake my head at myself whenever I pass by that FULL shelf on the book case ;)

I think you should cut yourself some slack though... they were not so much lies as they were possibilities. Autism was itself just as likely a possibility...

Caitlin
www.welcome-to-normal.com

Sandrine said...

I entirely agree with Caitlin- cut yourself some slack! These were not lies, they were actually pretty strong possibilities. At least you still had your son diagnosed very early! Because ours was dealing with three languages, and because his social skills were actually quite good most of the time we thought he was just a late speaker and until he was five all we did was take him to speech therapy (which did help).
I don't think it is about lying to yourself so much as adjusting your perception. Autism is a bit like the duck rabbit picture: one minute you see a late speaking anarchist, the next an autistic child. But that's about labels as much as anything else. It's about deciding how many 'autistic traits' you need not to count as neuro typical anymore. And labels are important because they mean you can get help, but that doesn't make you a liar.

Laura said...

Thanks for the comments. Caitlin and Sandrine, you're right of course. "Rationalization" is probably a better term than "lie" for what I'm describing. And the rationalizations are rooted in reasons that *could* have been true. And yes, at issue is perception, and those lines are blurry indeed. I'm well aware!

I think the gender issue is interesting and I will likely take that up in a future post. Whole bookshelf = impressive!

Nyx said...

Yes, I went through denial hard. I also read all the sowell books and some others besides ... I didn't use the same lies. Mostly I just didn't think a child could have autism and be so well connected. He really is very loving (when he feels like it). In the end, I knew there was something wrong, but I just didn't think we had the right label. But really, how do you fight a label that has so little definition??

Nyx said...

Yes, I went through denial hard. I also read all the sowell books and some others besides ... I didn't use the same lies. Mostly I just didn't think a child could have autism and be so well connected. He really is very loving (when he feels like it). In the end, I knew there was something wrong, but I just didn't think we had the right label. But really, how do you fight a label that has so little definition??

K- floortime lite mama said...

OMG you are back yayyyyyy
for some reason my blog list did not update
yayyyyyy I missed u
Oh and I had the same with R and R has a LOT of autism

Amber said...

It doesn't help when these are the things that professionals, family and friends tell us to alay our fears. I felt like I had to convince people that I wasn't imagining my son's language regressions (there were 3) and other issues. And I'm STILL doing it, even with the diagnosis.

eaucoin said...

My youngest only started having difficulties when she was in Grade 5 or 6. When I look back to examine my memory to see what I missed about her as a small child (she has four older sisters--one with Aspergers), I only ever found three things remarkable: 1. she never complained (she was pleasant, but that's not what I mean, she never complained even when she should have) and 2. she was often picking up on the emotions of other people in a way that made an impression on me--I would ask her if she had fun at so-and-so's house in playgroup, and she would say so-and-so's mother was sad (if you asked her why she thought so, she would just shrug her shoulders), and 3. her tantrums (and she didn't have many) were not easily manageable (we attributed it to her red hair--she's our only redhead). A lot of times, the only sense you have that something is wrong is that unsettling feeling deep in your gut--which I guess results from the tiny bits of evidence that have a cumulative effect--we call it mother's intuition.

Crazee Teacher Lady said...

My mother-in-law and husband told me that my son was "just a boy." I told myself that he was just socially well-adjusted because he did not have separation anxiety, and his older brother DID speak for him all of the time. Besides, he loved to snuggle so he couldn't be autistic- right?

B\'s Dad said...

These are exactly the things we said about our son in the 12 months before he was diagnosed! He is three and a half now. We are right at the start of all this having only recently received the diagnosis. I like this blog- i recognise the experiences you relate (being 'floored' by the dx) and find the subsequent 'story'- our future- inspiring. Thanks.