When you were three days old, I knew you were on the spectrum. They told me it was just colic. That some babies cry.
When you were 18 months old, I knew you were on the spectrum. They said it was SPD.
When you were 3, I knew you were on the spectrum. They said it was inconsistent parenting.
When you were 4, I knew you were on the spectrum. They said it was just anxiety.
They said you were pretty average.
That you would out grow it.
That I worry too much.
As we drove to The Center last month you looked out the window.
“Mom, do I have Autism?”
Today you are 5. You will be six in July. Today, they said you are on the spectrum.
I can’t tell you they didn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know-the testing was far too complex to say that with any degree of honesty.
I can say that there were no surprises.
There were no tears.
There was hope, and support, and advocacy- and all of the wonderful things that are waiting for you in life.
People will not welcome us to Holland, because I have been here this whole time with you, just waiting for someone to hand me the right roadmap.
I remember when I first realized I had landed here, in Holland.
When I first landed in this place, alone and confused, I called on friends, family, teachers, and specialists for guidance.
“Do they all wear wooden shoes?” Some asked.
“Well no, not all of them, not all of the time. That’s just a stereotype.”
“Then you can’t be in Holland. Perhaps you are in Italy instead.”
But we weren’t in Italy, my sweet girl. As we sat across from the man who would confirm what I already knew, I was reminded of a conversation I had last year with a dear friend.
“When did we stop trusting mothers?” I asked.
“When doctors became Gods.”
Women with Autism are often misdiagnosed. They refer to them as “The Lost Girls.” They don’t fit inside the walls of the Autism stereotype, and so they fall through the cracks.
But not you, my love.Not you.
When you were born, I promised to blaze a trail for you, and I will light the whole world on fire if that is what it takes to do so.
I love you, my wild child.