This is what Morgan said to me today when she saw/heard me crying. I've been crying on and off all day today. I think it's a lot of things hitting me at once. Most of them are thing I cannot control and just feel totally incompetent to deal with. I'll try to explain.
About a week and a half ago Morgan's speech therapist made a sudden comment...."Amanda (the physical therapist) and I were talking the other day and when Morgan is older we think she'll be diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome or something like that." Huh? Then she said a few things and quickly left for another appointment. I was devastated by this comment. Yes, we had a consultation with a psychologist in May who said she did NOT see any signs of a "Pervasive Developmental Disorder," her therapists, whom she has seen every week since January think she does have a PDD. I was initially very upset at how this was dropped on me, but since then have had a talk with the therapist and we've worked things out. All in all, I was more upset that my own suspisions were confirmed.
So...we are looking for another opinion. I've been in contact with another highly-recommended psychologist. We are working through the insurance details, but she said she thought she could have Morgan fully evaluated within a month. This evaluation will be very thorough, not just a short office visit. We will definitely get some more concrete answers this time.
I'm definitely afraid the answer will be Autism. In fact, I think I'm sure of it. In the past week and a half I have done more research and I do think Morgan falls somewhere on "the spectrum." Hopefully she is on the higher end. The odd thing is that I don't see it as Asperger, since this diagnosis does not usually include a speech delay. This was tough to swallow too, as she may just be plain Autistic and this lessens her chances of leading a productive life. The speech therapist said she is sure Morgan will be able to function well enough to have great success...but I think I need to hear that from the psychologist.
So, we have no diagnosis yet, but I'm in really dire need of support right now, especially from other parents of Autistic kids. I'm really struggling with some normal parenting challenges such as potty training and discipline, but I have no clue how to approach it with Morgan. With potty training she will sit on the potty, but she really doesn't have that desire most kids show at some point to accomplish this goal. Morgan is very much a creature of habit, so that approach might work, but the communication is still not there and that is key. With discipline, we use a time-out technique, but she thinks it's a game and it just doesn't work. Ugh! Maybe other parents with Autistic kids might be able to shed some light on what has worked with their kids.
David also left on an overnight trip...loneliness is the worst. It just makes me so sad when I watch Morgan doing her usual activities and she can't converse with me. She can't tell me how her day is going or what she is feeling or thinking. I'd love for her to play with Piper or try to teach her things, but most of her interaction with her lately is pushing her over. We've all been sick too, so I'm still wary of having them around other kids for a few more days. It's just an especially lonely time right now.
There's another fear that's starting to haunt me, that Piper will have development issues too. She's doing fine right now, but I'm so afraid at any moment she'll stop or slow her progression. We're also in the process of weaning from nursing and that is an emotional thing for me. I've felt such a nice bond with Piper this past year and I don't want to lose that.
So, that's my saga for today. I understand that it will be a process coming to terms with Morgan's pending diagnosis. There will be sad days, angry days, and days of hope and joy. We'll just keep trying to love Morgan the best we can and to encourage the best from her.