Why I Cried Happy Tears when my Son was Diagnosed with Autism

I can remember everything about the day that we received a diagnosis of autism for our Hudson.

I can remember that I had to go by myself to that appointment because my husband couldn’t get off work.

I can remember sitting at the table across from the psychologist and what felt like a rather sterile environment considering it was a pediatric development office.

I sat there with a nervous pit in my stomach, anticipating what we might talk about but at the same time fearful to hear those words.

With so many thoughts racing through my mind, I  remember looking over at my beautiful three-year-old who is playing on the floor. Although there were quite a few toys available for him, Hudson chose to carefully examine the room’s heating vent.

He studied every part of the vent asking various questions about where the heat came from and how the warm air traveled through the pipes into the room. He was completely fixated on this otherwise insignificant part of the visit, but to him it was no different than any other part of his day.

The psychologist started off by asking me how I was feeling about everything that was going on, and what my expectation for the meeting was. Small talk. I didn’t want to discuss anything except what the results were going to be.

In that moment I realized that she was more afraid to tell me the results then I was actually hearing them.

You see, for the past 2 1/2 years we realized that Hudson had some amazing personality quirks about him.

Growing up we called them his “Hudson-isms” And although we have been asking questions for over two years, no one particular doctor seem to validate us in what we were seeing and saying.

Over and over again we got the answer of “let’s reevaluate his next well child check” or “ at this stage in development it’s so hard to tell.”

Well I don’t necessarily agree with any of those statements, I think every mother out there can hear me when I say you know when something is different about your child.

And then finally she said it. “Your son has moderate autism.”

She stared at me for a few seconds waiting for a response.

I took a deep breath and suddenly my eyes were filled with huge crocodile tears that were running uncontrollably down my face. She looked at me with the face of empathy well handing me a box of tissues. But what she didn’t realize where these were not tears of sadness.

Oh trust me, those tears came later but in that moment those were tears of relief. Those were tears of validation!

After months and years of advocating for my child, specialists and therapist, doctors appointments and more doctors appointments someone had finally validated what I was saying and seeing.

In that few seconds after hearing the diagnosis I felt like a super mom. I felt like my hard work has finally paid off and that someone was finally getting a glimpse into what our world looked like.

Tears are a funny emotion because they can symbolize so many things.

Happiness, joy, sadness, sorrow and anger. In those moments I felt like each tear that came out could’ve easily change from one emotion to the next, but most importantly I felt an immediate sense of calmness.

Knowing that with a diagnosis comes additional services, therapies, support, and community!

Be brave mommas! Keep fighting! And in that moment when you receive that diagnosis, don’t feel 1 ounce of guilt for having some tears of joy.

Written by, Lyndsay Gardner

I  am the momma to amazing Hudson, my almost 4 year old with autism! We little in little old Lititz Pa, the coolest small town in America! (Honest,
Google it!) In addition, to me, I live in a crazy house with my husband and three other amazing kiddos!

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Finding Cooper’s Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you’re never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village….all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to our journey. You can also follow us on Facebook and subscribe to our newsletter.

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Finding Cooper's Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you're never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village....all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to my page!

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