What If It’s Not Autism?

Coop stripesWhen I finally decided to start blogging about Cooper I knew I wanted to write this post. I have been thinking about it for months. And trying to decide how to word it.

I am Google obsessed. I have mentioned it before. I usually search in private after the kids have gone to bed. (Maybe I need an intervention!!) And it’s usually after some horrific scene has taken place. A bad visit to the doctor or a tantrum during speech. Or maybe its the opposite. Maybe someone is telling me about their ‘normal’ child and I get jealous. Whatever the reason I am a glutton for punishment. And I don’t want my husband to know I am searching for these things. I am to scared. If someone knows than it is real.

If you look in my search history you will find a few of these gems:

  1.  Does my child have autism?
  2. Autism signs?
  3. What is sensory processing disorder?
  4. What if it’s not autism?
  5. Child who doesn’t talk? At age 3? At age 4?
  6. Mommy blogs about speech delay? About autism?
  7. Apraxia
  8. Reasons for not talking?

And so on….

So many things are off about Cooper. Picky eating. Horrible sleeper. Sensory issues. No language. And those are just the big things. Cooper is such a challenge. One day he will be a perfect angel. No whining or tantrums. And then the next day I will fight him to do everything from brushing his teeth to eating dinner, etc. I never know day-to-day. We often say that Cooper will have a good day followed by 2 bad days. Then he will suck you back in with a good day again.

But throughout all of this, it didn’t seem like Cooper had autism. It was almost the opposite. He was never in his own little world. He was always in mine! Constantly. He needed constant validation from us. When he was naughty or good. He smiled and laughed. He snuggled and kissed and hugged. If he threw a ball when he wasn’t supposed to he would stop and look at you after he did it and smile. He wanted you to know that he did it on purpose.

But yes, he has autistic indicators. First, the no langauge. Ding, Ding, Ding. This is a biggie. He also flapped his arms (and still does) when he is excited. Usually when he is watching tv. He also has very little imaginative play (but it’s improving).

All three of Cooper’s speech therapists have told us that they don’t think Cooper has autism. Was I relieved…yes. What I happy…yes. I never thought he was autistic and to be honest I was happy that  people saw the real Cooper. But this still didn’t change anything. Whether or not Cooper has autism he is still Cooper. Life wasn’t  any easier. He was still the biggest challenge I have ever encountered. So yes, I am thankful he doesn’t have the autistic diagnosis. Thank you God. But it also doesn’t make our lives any easier. And it left us thinking…so what is his diagnosis?

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