Thursday, September 15, 2011

What Doesn't Change

Here's the deal, Crafty was assessed by a doctor a few weeks ago and she is on the Autism Spectrum. Crafty has Asperger's.

There. I've said it. I don't know why but in the days following the assessment and diagnosis I was nervous, scared for her, for me. I was worried that this little word, this diagnosis that I know so well, was going to change things for Crafty.

It's a funny thing, this diagnosis, it changes absolutely nothing about who she is but yet somehow it does. When Dude was diagnosed four years ago it came as a relief, like an answer to the world's most puzzling mystery, "What is wrong with my kid?!" Turns out nothing was wrong with him, he just has Asperger's. With Dude the diagnosis was a direction of travel, it was really no big deal. So why was I having such a tough time processing all of this with Crafty?

All of a sudden, I was worrying about things I've never worried about when it comes to my girl. I worried about her friends, her future, her heart. She seemed more vulnerable, more at risk for hurt. I knew it wasn't true, I knew that she was just as strong and capable as she was before the diagnosis but ... there I was, worried.

In my fretting, I decided to make a list of everything that doesn't change in light of this diagnosis ...

1. She's witty, funny with impeccable timing
2. She is creative, arts & craft-y
3. She is caring
4. She is strong
5. She is loving
6. She is compassionate
7. She is a hard worker
8. She desires to do well all the time
9. She's a little mischievous
10. She worries
11. She has an excellent vocabulary
12. She loves to help
13. She is sensitive
14. She wants to be friendly and have friends
15. She has her own sense of style
16. She's independent
17. She's a reader
18. She has a fantastic laugh
19. Her eyes twinkle when she's hatching a plan
20. She is growing up too fast

My list went on and on ... over one hundred things that don't change because she has Asperger's. I also made a list of the things that do change because of Asperger's

1. We know better how to help her
2. ...

That's about it. When I looked at my two lists I exhaled and found my bearings. Everything's going to be all right. Nothing has changed. I'm not sure what got me worked up in the first place but I guess everyone's allowed a little crazy every now and then ... and some of us more than others! ;-)

Worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but it gets you nowhere. ~Glenn Turner


mns said...

A million, zillion hugs to you, Nicki! And I totally get what you're saying about your reaction. When I first read your words, I wanted to cry, but then I felt better for you... When I read your #1 change re: Asperger's, it made complete sense. You're so right. You can do this!
See you Saturday.

Unknown said...

I know I'm a few days late, but I just read this now. You're so right. She is who she is and it doesn't change her at all. :)

Some Random Mother said...

Thanks for your comments and encouragement!