Diagnosis: The Great Paradox, Part 1
This is the first, of a few posts on this subject, as it’s a big one: The Diagnosis.
For many families, especially in British Columbia, there are weeks, months, even years spent in anticipation of the psychological assessment. While this provides a significant amount of time to process thoughts and feelings about what you and other professionals are seeing in your child, as well as the various pathways that diagnosis could potentially go, there is generally an anxious feeling awaiting the professional’s confirmation of “yes, it’s Autism”. It is the days that come in the wake of Diagnosis Day, that bring me to what I call “The Great Paradox”.
If you are reading this, and have been through this process yourself, or with a family member, you probably know exactly what I’m talking about, and what is coming next. After Diagnosis Day, there is an inescapable feeling that your world has - overnight - been entirely flipped upside down with this “new” information. The paradox is, that while it feels as though suddenly everything in your life has changed in an instant, literally nothing has changed at all - except your perspective. This is not to imply that you have no reason to feel this way - perspective is what enables us to experience life, each in our own individual ways! However, I do find this paradox is one that comes around and around again as families grapple with “what does this mean?!”, and try to figure out to do now.
This is where RDI comes in to shine. A diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder, or other developmental disorders, can put families into a tailspin of crises, on many levels. Suddenly, with this new information, parents question their innate abilities to care for, raise, and teach their own child, and are drowned in research articles and conflicting advice from well-meaning neighbours, colleagues and friends. There is no shortage of opinions in the world of Autism! :)
RDI is a unique, in that it is a research based, developmental approach, that is family-oriented, and puts the confidence, and control back into the hands of the parents. When parents are empowered with knowledge, and a toolbox of new skills to help guide their child to new developmental levels. Finally, parents can move past crisis, and can start re-envisioning the dreams they may have felt had been extinguished in the wake of diagnosis..... Part 2 to come!