16 Oct What Led Us To The ASD Screening
When my phone rang, I immediately stood at attention and power walked to a semi-private location. With angst I whispered “hello,” to manage a delicate manner in the most imperfect circumstances. This became ingrained in me, like Pavlov’s classical conditioning. No matter the setting, if I were at work, in a client’s meeting or in a public restroom, if my phone rang and the first six digits resembled my daughter’s school, that was my response.
I really had no other options. At that time, I was a single mother and we only had each other. While this anxiety ridden-response was our crisis solution, it was ineffective and unsustainable.
My inaudible introductions were met with her school’s administrative staff giving me the play-by-play, while my daughter’s cries served as background noise. That alone was enough for me to want to run the 32 miles, the distance between her school and my job, to get to her. However, getting to her with immediacy wasn’t only influence by my emotional response. On many occasions, the circumstances that proceeded the call required that I take her home or have her evaluated.
This became our norm and increased in intensity over time.
My role in her life had been to provide and protect her for 12 years and this wasn’t anything that we prepared for.
When a child is in pain, a mother feels every bit of it. If a mother can’t relieve the pain, she’ll at least hold her child to comfort her. But, what does a mother do when her child is depressed and suicidal?
I empathized, but I couldn’t feel what she felt. I held her, but it didn’t relieve her pain.
On several occasions we reached a point where her needs became more than what I could provide with her and we sought acute care to stabilize moments of crisis.
These were helpful in her development of coping skills and medication management, but it oftentimes sustained for only a few months before we were in similar circumstances.
This is what led to the autism screening. This month marks a year, since we learned about her ASD diagnosis.