Different is ok
I see you, going to bed late, after yet another long evening researching therapies and interventions. You feel like time is slipping away from you. The days drag so slowly in an exhausted fog yet at night when every piece of research you read tells you that time is of the essence, it feels like the months of no progress are falling in an avalanche around you. The diagnosis has come but the help has not followed.
No one told you when you had a baby that you'd also need to be a carer, a speech therapist, a behavioural specialist and an occupational therapist. The weight feels too heavy right now I know. The pressure to get it right is so high. What's another late night, another thousand pounds, another disappointing and worthless avenue if you stumble across just the right thing that will help? It doesn't seem like too high a price to pay right now. To stop searching and striving so hard feels like giving up, yet to continually look for hope can feel like a denial of who Arthur is, right now, right in front of you, perfectly imperfect. There will come a time, when you will strike a balance between acceptance of his abilities and still some confidence that he will grow and move forward in his own way. It's going to take a while to get there, you'll have to be patient.
People you come across will tell you stories of how their kids were so like Arthur and responded so well to intervention. They'll tell you that “you can hardly tell they are autistic anymore”. Part of you cannot imagine any other outcome but the same. You have clung to the idea that you will fix this and have a child who talks and plays and has friends, just like everyone else. That same part of you can't imagine a world where this doesn't happen. What kind of dark and awful, depressing world would it be without this outcome, you think, lying alone in bed at night. Well, this world has come to pass and while it is a hard road, it is one filled with light and love and joy.
Arthur at age 7 will still not be able to describe emotions or tell you what he's thinking. And you are ok. He still won't be able to tell you if he has a tummy ache, a sore throat, or is scared about changing schools. And you are ok. He won't want to listen to you read him a story or build a lego house with you. And you are ok. He won't sit through whole films, he won't be able to cope with shopping, or hoping on and off transport lots in a day. And you are ok. He still won't speak to other kids, except his sister on occasion and he'll never go on a playdate. And you're ok. He still wants to watch In the Night Garden and Peppa Pig. And you are ok. In fact, you are more then ok. You're happy.
I don't know what the future will hold for Arthur. But there is something I do know. I know that the one thing that you are desperate for more then anything else has come to pass. I have accepted the unknown. I still get scared. I still worry. I still wonder if I am enough. But I know that we will be ok, even if his development stopped still tomorrow and never inched forward again in his life. That doesn't mean I don't have high hopes for him. It means that I am not dependent on his abilities to know that both of us will have rich and wonderful lives. It will look very different to how I imagined it. It already looks wildly different. But different is ok.
I can't fast forward this for you. I know you want that so badly. But this is a path that cannot be skipped over. You need to walk this by yourself. I'll see you on the other side.
Love Me xx
P.S I know you're desperate to know this. He calls you Mummy and yes it's as wonderful as you imagine it will be