A series of A-words: Part 2

We had time to brace ourselves before entering the next twist in the rollercoaster. Doctors, referrals, appointments, recommendations, costs, specialists, methods, stories of successes, reading, praying, more reading… Absorbing, consuming as much as my mind and soul were capable of. At times I’ve felt that I’m mentally stress-eating more so than being particularly hungry for knowledge. As they say, ignorance is bliss, but in this instance not an option.



Of all the days for a pediatrician appointment, it was on the most miserable of rainy days. The booking time meant squat because these things run late as you’d expect, and started to eat into the boys’ regular afternoon nap time. You can only imagine the mess that ensued. I can only hope that the doctor knew his shit, because the boys were in their worst moods at that time. Nonetheless he recommended the whole gamut of speech assessments and therapy, blood tests, hearing tests, and a full blown autism (oh that fucking A-word again!) assessment for our eldest.

Throw a handful of negative feelings in a blender, and top it off with our eldest son chucking a tantrum and running out the clinic door towards the road. A foaming nightmarish milkshake. Not a good thing for a rollercoaster. Milk was a bad choice.

The boys carried on with their understandably poor behaviour as we waited in the car for their mum. She had gone to sort out the subsequent Medicare business – you know, after shelling out almost a weeks worth of earnings on a disastrous 30-minute appointment. My resolve was weak, and I truly regret that I completely lost my composure. Sick to the stomach with stress, frothing and bubbling over boiling point, I yelled at them at the top of my lungs, etching a little bit of sadness into their memories.



I pray that one day they’ll forgive me for my shortcomings.

There’s a point beyond which there is no control. When I think about the daunting task ahead of raising children in a society that revolves around trading money for a chance at being accepted, I scramble to try and expand the distance between myself and that point. I know that my kids will be greater than any mould society can attempt to constrain them to. But I’m worried sick about them being labelled, as much as I can accept that it’s one of the ways we feeble humans attribute meaning. The mainstream schooling ‘system’ inherently does not take kindly to difference. I know this because I was a child once, and a teenager too. Kids can be such dicks to each other.



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  • reservoirdad

    This is fantastic. Not the possible diagnosis that you’re both looking into for your children, but the honest outpouring of your experience. We’re going through something similar with one of our children and you could have been speaking for me. The fear of label especially rings true. Keep your honest reflections out there for yourself but also for the many MANY others you’ll never realize you’ve been a support to. You’ll get through this no matter what the diagnosis and your kids will find their way and their place in the world. I know that simply from feeling the dedication and emotion in this post. They’re in great hands.

  • This is a beautiful series of posts; so honest is your outpour of words I feel it’s such a privilege to read them. I feel your fear and understand the disappointment (perhaps grief?) you have for the whole situation, and in yourself for losing your cool, but I guess there is no way to keep your cool on a roller coaster. That’s why they take the photos of the scariest part of the ride, after all. But there will come a break in the twists and turns and dives, and you’ll find yourself coasting towards the end of the difficult part, and you’ll feel the pride and relief for having survived such a tumultuous time. In the meantime, you are in my thoughts and I pray for your courage to soldier on.

  • Thank you for your kind words RD and Joy. The support and reassurance we’ve received has been overwhelming, It’s truly been a blessing. It’s the path we’ve been assigned to take, and we just have to continue doing the best we can for our boys; rain, hail, shine, or label.