Autism was a foreign concept to our family until our son, Connor Lee (CL), went to his 12-month checkup back in 2015. CL has always been an extraordinary individual and continues to confound us.
From the time he was 4 months old, CL slept through the night in his own crib, which is very unusual, to say the least. He also ran before he ever walked or crawled. CL has always been comfortable keeping to himself and having us as company when he wanted.
By the time he was 2 and Penny made her appearance, he was skillfully playing the xylophone in a calculated, methodical way instead of random banging children his age normally would. He was also reciting (or scripting) episodes of Little Einsteins word-for-word, especially when he felt anxious.
That was normal for us…our normal. But when the subject of autism came up during that appointment, we honestly didn’t know what to do, which sent our anxiety to high speed.
Autism Screening 2020
First of all, to say I was a mess would be a DRASTIC understatement. On the morning of the telehealth virtual evaluation screening, I was a complete and utter mess. I took this picture to capture all of the anxiety I experienced that day.
This screening was supposed to take place in person, and it took us over a year to get this appointment. Then COVID-19 hit and our appointment changed to telehealth. It was then that we knew it would be a much longer journey towards an official diagnosis.
I wasn’t afraid or anxious because I didn’t want CL to have autism. Deep down, we knew he is high-functioning autistic and that changed nothing of how we felt or feel about him. We have researched autism spectrum disorder extensively for years and make sure he receives speech and occupational therapy services regularly.
I was most anxious because of everything an official diagnosis would mean for our family. An official diagnosis meant that CL could get services outside of school since we’ve been quarantining for months.
It meant we would know once and for all what we were dealing with and how to advocate for our son and understand him on a deeper level.
We Made It
The doctor conducted as much of his screening as he could virtually, and it mostly consisted of us answering detailed questions about CL’s past and current behaviors. Based on his score, the doctor has no doubt that CL is on the autism spectrum and wants to meet him in person in October.
After this meeting, we were all completely drained of energy and the anxiety settled. But I still took the opportunity to produce some Angsty Art.
We are embracing this news and look forward to embracing this new journey to an official diagnosis and conquering our fears and anxieties and look forward to sharing our journey with you!
Let us know your thoughts! Do you or a loved one have an autism diagnosis and struggle with anxiety? We love connecting with autism parents and individuals! Have you painted or created anything lately? Let us know in the comments!