Tink’s diagnosis report finally came through last week. It was basically the same report we were given at the outcomes meeting, but with an additional part discussing what took place at that meeting. This little extract is the bit that makes all the difference to Tink’s future:
So, there it is. In black and white. Autistic Spectrum Disorder. It’s not as if it is a surprise, but it still stings a bit, you know? This will affect the rest of her life. Our lives. Those three little words (although I’m not keen on ‘disorder’, but that’s probably another blog post for another day!) that mean so much. And we don’t even know yet if she has associated learning difficulties because she was such an uncooperative little madam at the assessments. However, I’m going to assume that she does, as she’s already developmentally ‘behind’ the expected levels in many areas.
I’ll admit, I did shed a tear when I read it. It doesn’t change who she is, but I guess I’m still grieving a little for the ‘what might have been’. I don’t know why, as we’ve never known her any different. It’s not as if she’s suffered a serious illness or injury that has left her disabled and in a much worse place than before. She’s just always been Tink, and I honestly wouldn’t want her any other way. Maybe it’s the whole thing about it being a label? Even though that label may get her help and support, both financially and educationally, it still sets her apart from her peers, and that, no matter how idealistically we’d like to view the world, will always be an issue. Perhaps it’s just the enormity of this being a lifelong condition. H actually asked me the other day, “when will her autism wear off?” and I had to try to explain to him that it won’t. It’s not an illness and that she’ll always have it, but that she’ll learn ways to cope and fit in so we might not notice it as much and she can get by in the world. Maybe it’s just that – that I don’t want any of my children to just ‘get by’ in life – I want them to be the best they can be and achieve great things and to be, above all else, happy. But, if Tink does all of that just by ‘getting by’, then I suppose that’s good enough for me.
So, there we go. Confirmation that our daughter is an amazing, funny, clever, slightly nutty, wonderful human being. Here’s to her future!