It is Friday, February 4, 2011. Today we received our diagnosis. PDD-NOS. (Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified) It's a head scratcher for sure. Kind of....huh? What's that mean? I thought it might be a good idea to begin a blog and keep it as a way to track our questions, answers, struggles, victories, and blessings. I invite you to bookmark and follow. But there is just SO MUCH story behind us, that it is overwhelming to think of explaining it all. So I think the best thing to do is just start in the middle, and catch up as we go. Hope I don't get you lost in the process.
Our son is 3 years 9 months old right now. We call him "Boo." We were very blessed to have the opportunity to be included in a free clinic with a developmental pediatrician. She has given Boo the diagnosis of PDD-NOS. Like most parents of children with these type of struggles, I had done my homework loooooong ago, trying to get a handle on my uneasy feelings concerning my son. I had read about PDD-NOS, but hadn't really paid close attention to it. The description we got from Dr. K was vague at best. I thought I understood it till I started making phone calls and trying to explain it. So when I got home, of course I jumped on google. This of course, left me even more confused than before. The best way I can think to describe what this "label" means is 'Something's up, but it doesn't fit in any of our categories.'
One of the most striking things I read was from the Autism Speaks website:
"Like other parents with children on the spectrum, you will face many challenges, starting with the incomprehension and insensitivity of others unfamiliar with your situation. They may think your child is "misbehaving" and, consequently deem you a parent unable to "control" him. This may be especially true because PDD-NOS kids don't fit into the more easily identifiable forms of autism spectrum disorders. Ignorance can bring out the worst in others, and sometimes, when they're not privy to your child's issues (or simply don't understand them, or won't accept the diagnosis, as happens in some families), they may be more judgmental."
Yeah, tell me about it! I have encountered that with other parents, online mothering forums, family members, and random strangers in public all too often! And it constantly makes me second guess myself. Am I really being too lenient? Is he getting away with just being a brat? Is this a discipline problem? If anything, I am glad to have someone who knows what they are doing tell me that this isn't all in my head! I'm not just making excuses for an ill-behaved child. A relief on the one hand, but on the other......this isn't just going to go away with better parenting skills.
For now, I am just trying to remember that nothing has changed. My son is the same boy that he was this morning, and the morning before that, and the one before that. He is the same little guy that was created by God for a purpose, and I am the same mother who was given the privilege and the responsibility of helping him fulfil it. Having this diagnosis is a tool I can use to open doors of assistance to do just that.