Up close and personal: Accepting my son’s diagnosis

Greetings Everyone!

This month, I wanted to share my emotions associated with my son, Amir, and his ASD diagnosis.  Society has this notion that when you are given a diagnosis for your child that you are to just suck it up and deal with the situation. I can remember in 2012 realizing that the habits my son was displaying were not going away. When I heard the diagnosis from Dr. Tuchman (A neurologist in Broward county), I mom-kid-with-sunset-300x300remember crying, almost to the point that I felt I was mourning for my son. I honestly didn’t know how to digest it all. I was angry, hurt and confused. I would cry nonstop in the shower. I even took a leave of absence from my place of employment because it was affecting my performance. I thought to myself, “Why is this happening to my son?” Reflecting on the past, I still think that my emotions were justified. Very few people understood what was going on inside of me as a mother and a woman. I had a small circle of friends and eventually formed my own support group (I call them my guardian angels) that uplifted me mentally, emotionally and spiritually. These people came in the form of teachers, doctors and therapists. I felt hope. I felt that my son Amir would be ok. I became so intertwined with grieving for Amir and this diagnosis, that I forgot one major piece of the puzzle – HE IS STILL ALIVE! I have to be here on this planet for him. Amir needs me to be mentally fit to help him in any way possible. I am telling you all that life goes on. I am telling you guys that you only get stronger. I am telling you guys that our children will be successful and able to live a life full of people that love them for who they are. We, as a community, must have faith and work on the actions that will help our future generation thrive. We, as a community, have to help and sometimes guide each other so that the overall mission is complete – helping our children.

My emotions helped me realize that I was not alone. I had people just like me who had the same thoughts and emotions when the diagnosis was confirmed. The question is, “Why do we feel alone?” We tend to bottle up emotions and continue with the status quo. I refused to live that way. I wanted to break the cycle. I opened up about my son Amir with my friends and found people in the community who had children with the same diagnosis. There are still times where I cry – but I know that everything is going to be ok. That is all that matters. Below are some resources and ideas to help you be the best for your child. Thank you for reading!

  1. childrensdisablities.info – This website has links to different support groups (I obtained this website from FAU card). FAU card also provides courses and seminars for Autism.
  2. Arc of Palm Beach County (Autism Speaks):

                                        1201 Australian Avenue

                                        Riviera Beach, Fl. 33404


Emily Sandquist – also a good community contact in finding information for children with disabilities

  1. Speaking with your child’s Doctor, Dentist, Teacher, Therapist will also guide you as a parent to getting accurate resources for your child
  2. I also want to start a support group with our parents in the community where we can support each other, talk about resources and encourage each other. This will be done at a later date. Any families interested, please email Merlande Altesse at landyinspires@hotmail.com. As a community, we can have events, playdates and support meetings.