When I began this blog I knew Eddie was blind and I knew he had significant developmental delays but the reasoning for that wasn’t clear. Well, now it might be. Yesterday he was officially diagnosed with Autism. For many months we had considered the possibility but had run into problems in assessing him.
First, many evaluators didn’t know how or were afraid to diagnose a blind child with Autism. Second, many blind children are misdiagnosed with Autism. Third, we weren’t sure what would change or how it would be changed with an additional diagnose. Finally, many of his therapists were already using autism methods with Eddie. So after deliberating over each issue, we pushed to move forward with an assessment.
What does this mean? Well, Eddie hasn’t changed since we found out. But, now we know we need to approach him differently and from a new direction. We don’t only need to teach Eddie how to communicate, but also why he would want to communicate. We have to help him become a part of our world and to engage in social interactions. Maybe with this new diagnosis we can find a path perfect for him.
Are we sad? Not really. Admittedly, I was when I first considered the option. Now, we are truly excited about where to go next. Eddie has always been unique. Eddie has always been tricky. However, even the evaluators fell in love with him within minutes. He is truly a gift…and now we continue to unwrap the present that is him.