Since my youngest, now 12, was in the 1st grade I have continued, over and over and over to tell doctors she has every symptom her brother (diagnosed with Asperger’s) has.
In fact, some of her symptoms (like sensory and anxiety) are much more severe than her brothers, but I was told she is too smart and too social – that she can carry on a conversation – so she wasn’t on the spectrum. What I observed as a parent was her anxiety was so high she has faked life as being okay, especially at school. I eventually quit pursuing it and just did the best I could with what I had learned from my son.
Until this year.
This past school year was horrible. But I thank God for it because she finally showed her true self. Many times this school year I had to physically drag her to the car to get her to school. Many times this school year I had to call guidance and the principal and ask them to come help me get her out of the car.
Finally. She is breaking free all the stuff that is inside.
It was ugly.
She was yelling. Screaming – banging on the car – everything that had been bottled up in fear was coming out like lava exploding from a volcano.
But aren’t breakthroughs messy?
Family has seen what we had seen for years and we were left to jumble through – but the relief that someone else was seeing what was going on was freeing.
Yesterday Kaitlyn had to see a neurologist. She has had headaches for years and over the past year some other things started taking place that were of concern. The neurologist we were supposed to see was 1 1/2 hours late. Another doctor came in and got the “run down” on why we were there (which was an appointment for headaches, ticks/spasms/etc, having lapse of time accountability, losing thoughts and getting lost – not knowing where she is in her own home, car, etc. so there are some obvious concerns). He spent time talking and asking questions – again – about what we were there for.
Once the neurologist came in and apologized the very next thing she said caught me by surprise, “Why hasn’t she been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder?”
I couldn’t believe it.
I explained everything I have been told in the past; she is too smart and social. She then brings up Christopher. “Doesn’t she have a brother diagnosed Asperger’s? It seems she has every symptom her brother has. How could it not be recognized?”
I can only imagine what the look on my face said.
We talked for quite a while. Here are the facts, Kaitlyn’s IQ level is less than Christopher’s. Intelligence has nothing to do with Autism except most kids on the spectrum have extremely high IQ’s. Kaitlyn learns differently than her brother. Kaitlyn got her dad’s ability to look at something and process it in her head. She is quick like that. Christopher is slow and cumbersome like his momma. He is more visual like I am. They learn differently. Believe it or not she is not socially okay. Kaitlyn glances her eyes away from people just like Christopher does and doesn’t like to carry on conversations unless someone else starts it and even then she struggles with what to say next. The difference – God has given Kaitlyn this bubbly personality that she uses to cover up all the yuck she fights in the world.
Before we left the appointment yesterday we discussed the areas of concern that took us there. An EEG is being ordered to rule out seizures. The doctor has made it very clear Kaitlyn does not need to be in a public school setting and because homeschooling is not an option she has put in the request for a private school setting. There are scholarships we will apply for. There is one thing she is afraid of – itching. She dresses for comfort because of her sensory and in a uniform she will have to wear things that have buttons, seems, collars, and shoes.
She hates them. They make her feet itch and the end result of shoes brings on emotional outburst that seem unending.
At the end of her appointment, the neurologist added the diagnosis Autism Spectrum Disorder to the list of other symptoms she already carries. She said girls are very hard to diagnose, especially high functioning, but this is far more than anxiety or oppositional defiance.
After six years I had quit asking – I had given up – it wasn’t even on my radar to ask anymore.
But God –
I thanked her profusely for seeing beyond the reason we were there. Her response has stayed with me, “I have one. I live what you live every day. I recognized it right away because I live it also. Maybe that’s why God allowed me to be your doctor so I could see it too.”
God won’t waste a hurt y’all. I do not care what it is, I have seen what God can do and the way He crazily brings people in to my own life to bring in to fruition His plan. He is using my past hurts to help hurting women AND yesterday, He used a highly intelligent neurologist to see past the muck and the mire – she took a chance and treaded on waters that we weren’t even swimming in.
She recognized there was more going on because it is her life too.
God often uses other people, people not even on our own radar, to throw us a lifeline to keep us from sinking.
Don’t give up.
Someone needs your hope.