This entry will describe our experience in dealing with the people and staff at Chedoke hospital. We'll also discuss our feelings and concerns during the multiple visits we went to.
So after our 20th meeting with the school staff and everyone else, we went to Chedoke to have an intake appointment to determine if Jacob had any signs of ASD. My wife and I both felt that if these doctors didn't recognise any traits of ASD, then the school would be wrong. I said to my wife that if these doctors say ASD is out of the question, then the school should back off and leave us alone. And they could stop with their personal diagnoses. During the intake meeting the doctor who first saw Jacob was perplexed. Jacob demonstrated social skills and activity. He shook the doctors hand and said "Hi" to everyone. We felt that the doctor was going to say that there was no way ASD was possible. But the doctor didn't say that. He wanted us to come back for a follow up with the head doctor. What does this mean? we thought. We only then realised that Jacob may have aspergers, or autism, or ASD. Then I felt silly for doubting the school and being so defensive. But we had no diagnosis at this time. We couldn't say anything for sure. Maybe this head doctor would say "no" to the possibility of ASD.
So on our second visit we met Dr Szatmari. I personally researched Dr Szatmari to learn more about him and what he did. I found that he was very accomplished and well respected in the autism community. This put my wife and I at ease. We were in fact seeing a guru of sorts. We knew he would give us the straight goods in regards to Jacob's issues. After a brief meeting with us and Jacob, the bomb dropped. Dr Szatmari said that Jacob had aspergers. We were in shock. "How could this be?" we asked. "Jacob is so social!" we said. Dr Szatmari explained that as the world's understanding of ASD grew, more and more people may be diagnosed with autism. When my wife was in college to be an ECE, there was no ASD, only PDD. My wife and I were nervous about Jacob's diagnosis. Will he be okay? Will he have a family? Will he go to college? We asked all these questions and more. Dr Szatmari went on to ease our anxiety. "Jacob can have a fully functioning life and education." he said. But, we as parents would have some work to do to help Jacob progress. The hardest thing for me to accept was the fact that Jacob would have to work through aspergers for ever. After all, there is no cure for autism. It wasn't until we got home that I realised I would have to go to the school and eat humble pie. I would have to admit that I was wrong. What a feeling of dread I had. It bothered me that the school was right.
In our next entry, we'll discuss the subsequent meeting with the school in which we revealed Jacob's diagnosis.
WELCOME TO JIM'S AUTISM BLOG
Hi everyone and thanks for visiting our blog. My wife and I created this blog to chronicle our experience while raising a son with Asperger's syndrome. Since our son was diagnosed with an ASD at age 5, we've had a lot of questions. Lucky for us we have a great support network in place. And our blog gives us an opportunity to share what we've learned with our readers. We hope you find our blog informative and interesting. Thanks again for visiting.
"It seems that for success in science and art, a dash of autism is essential." Dr Hans Asperger 1906-1980