We are now about three or four weeks into our struggle. We are not further by any measure in getting a diagnosis, but next week we have at least an evaluation for early intervention therapy. I will take it. I put Michael on the specific carb diet, and it seems to help. The trick is getting him (and the rest of the family) to eat. Cutting out all grains, all potatoes, and all rice, and all other gluten free options, as well as milk, corn and soy leaves a mommy bereft of easy options. We've been eating more meats than we have in ages. Some days are harder. Some days are slightly easier. I am fighting against the feeling in my stomach, as if I need to hold my arms around my waist to keep myself breathing, to keep myself from falling apart.
My wonderful in laws came over from St. Louis and took the boys for three days, allowing me the time to finally do all those phonecalls without falling apart. It helped. I am a bit calmer. One step away from the abyss. Hearing about other people with children with autism scares me, so I stay away from autism groups or autism sites, and even from the friendly offers of people to connect them with their friends who have children with autism. Not because I do not appreciate it, but I am just not.. there yet. I do not need to hear about the hard time ahead. I need to hear about the outcome. About 18 years in the future when Michael will graduate from highschool and go to college, like the son of a friend of mine, with Aspergers, who was diagnoses very late, even though he exhibited the same signs as Michael. 16 years ago, we didn't know as much about what this was. Michael will have early intervention therapy. He is verbal. He is smart. He shows emotion. His vocabulary keeps improving.
I focus on that. On helping him with that.
I focus on how I am going to deal with next school year. I want him to keep away from grain and dairy at school. An alternative lunch box for snack time. But what about treats when someone has a birthday? I am looking at paleo recipes, because they often fit in with the specific carb diet.
I am telling myself I can do this. That we will have extra challenges, but still a normal life. Our whole life will not revolve around Michael's autism. We will be a normal family, just with something extra to deal with. After a while it will be routine. He will not be 'my child with autism' anymore. He will be Michael.
I will knit and clean and cook and embroider, and go to SCA meetings to enjoy my love for the middle ages, and in between there will be worries about my son. And there will be perhaps meetings here and there with therapists, just like there will be karate practice and ballet practice and everything. But we will manage to make this a normal life. Just with an extra challenge. Oh I am so tired of extra challenges.