· Why are people FINALLY seeing Ben? Why now?
· Why didn’t they see him when his father and I knew he had a speech delay?
· Why didn’t they see him when he was extremely physically reactive at a very young age?
· Why didn’t they see him when he wouldn’t respond to his name?
· Why didn’t they see him when he was constantly running away?
· Why didn’t they see him when he appeared to feel no pain or show any fear?
· Why didn’t they see him when we told them he couldn’t overcome changes in his life?
· Why didn’t they see him when we said he can’t handle loud noises?
· Why didn’t they seem him when we swore the slightest drop of water on a dry shirt could send him into a meltdown like no other?
· Why didn’t they see him when we said he’s not making any friends?
· Why didn’t they see him when I told them he’s not enjoying school?
· Why didn’t they see him when the teacher said he’s extremely emotionally reactive to classroom transition?
· Why didn’t they see him when I asked them to evaluate him for Autism?
For two years I knew. For two years I let doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists guess. I let them put him on medication. No therapy. No real help. Two years of negative feedback in school. Two years of my Ben thinking that everyone hates him. Two years of him believing he is a failure. Two years of thinking he is a bad kid. I let that happen. Because I believed the doctors when they said:
Ø He’s just a boy…boys are more aggressive.
Ø Must be the ear infections…that’s why he’s not talking or responding as much as he should.
Ø Maybe he’s depressed.
Ø He probably has Oppositional Defiance but it’s really too soon to tell.
Ø If he was Autistic he wouldn’t be making eye contact.
Ø He’s grieving because of the loss of his Papaw.
Ø Ben’s just a perfectionist.
Ø He’s defiant and his classmates are scared of him.
Ø If he was Autistic he wouldn’t be as verbal as he is now.
Ø He’s stubborn.
Ø He’s like his mother.
Ø He’s like his Papaw.
To the practitioners we have interacted with over the last two years…who have fed us the remaining excuses on my list above…I say, “screw you”. Have you not heard me? When I told you about each one of these things they weren’t in seclusion. They were in addition to every other thing on this list. Can YOU not put puzzles together? Do you not understand Autism? Is it THAT hard to simply suggest we have him evaluated? Assessing him for eight hours for everything else under the sun BUT Autism made sense to you?
Instead we’ve wasted two years on a rabbit trail only to land where I knew we were in the first place. In those two years my son’s self-esteem has plummeted. In those two years I have blamed myself for every parenting mistake in the book. I spanked, grounded, yelled, segregated, ignored. I let his principal paddle him. To this day the thought makes me bawl. I can only imagine the thoughts going through my boy’s mind…the pain in his heart…when he received those swats. I gave the green light. I was willing to try anything and everything to make him “right”. To make him “better”. God damn it.
I do realize we’re making the right moves now and that is what is important. I realize I should be thankful that we DO have answers and we HAVE met a wonderful doctor who DOES see Ben. But I’m wallowing right now…I'm allowed. And the tissue box is running low. I have to release the venom if I’m ever to move forward. If I’m ever to forgive myself. I have to. And I will.