Two weeks in Bali. No Autism paperwork to fill in, no therapy sessions to schedule, no Autism books or pamphlets to read, no reminders. It was easy to see Harri as a cheeky little 2 year old. Running around, wriggling like a worm at restaurant tables, throwing food, whinging and whining when tired or bored, broken night sleeps due to strange environments. Normal behaviour f0r any, but the most laid back, toddler.
I watched with pride as he smiled at other toddlers in the pool, giving enthusiastic high fives to all those that asked. Laughed and splashed with uninhibited joy and charming the locals with his vivaciousness. Then I started to let myself go there again. Could they be wrong? Maybe he is just a little slow to develop and will catch up?
I convince myself that the pediatrician he is due to see soon will invalidate the current diagnosis and with a bit of extra help he will be on his way to a normal, happy, healthy life.
Then I return home and recommence reading the Autism Handbook I purchased just before our departure. And there it all is again. I watch a few clips on Youtube of young children with pdd nos and Apergers, and cannot deny the glaring similarities. The heart sinks again. Hope fades again. Almost self pity again. Then, again, rally.
I log onto a chat forum for parents of ASD children and see a post by a mother whose child was diagnosed 2 years ago. She is still miserable and angry. Still asking 'why my child'? I realise this is a marathon not a sprint. A long process with many ups and downs.