I Don’t Have an Autistic Child, I Have a Poppy.

It’s been a while since I posted. It’s been a stressful few months and I think I was waiting for it all to be over before I did my next post. But it isn’t going to be over, it’s just going to be different. Today we received a formal diagnosis for my daughter as being on the Autism Spectrum. I didn’t realize until today that I was more expecting that she would not be found autistic. And not because I don’t believe it, but because I don’t want to believe it. It makes a lot of sense with what we know of my daughter, and even today we had some more eureka moments while talking to the psychologist, and yet I still would rather that she was a “normal” child and it was just me who wasn’t able to cope with motherhood, children, tantrums, being a housewife, and apparently life in general. I would rather that I was diagnosed as insane or manic-depressive and that taking me out of the equation would mean that she would level out. But that’s not what has happened. There is going to be more applications, more therapists and psychologists, more tantrums, a lot more stress and a lot of learning for us as parents. I am going to have to learn to face this and talk about it instead of hiding away and waiting for it to pass. And learn how to explain how it is that my completely charming, beautiful, bright, and inquisitive daughter is almost too much for me to deal with on my own. How do I explain how a request for her to try on a shirt can turn into a terrible ordeal lasting hours that leaves me in tears when I don’t even know how that happens.

But that is the negative side of it. That is all the things I have to bottle up because anytime I try to talk to someone other than the doctors about it I am told that there is nothing to worry about, she is just fine, and it is just over-diagnosis on the part of the doctors. Until today I half-believed them; which meant it was all me. There was something wrong with me. I was insane.

So yes, half of me is relieved.

After the psychologist left and my husband was leaving for work and we were still digesting the new information, I started crying and said “I can’t believe that I have an autistic child.” To which he replied “You can’t think like that. It’s still Poppy. You don’t have an autistic child, you have a Poppy.” And he’s right.

16 thoughts on “I Don’t Have an Autistic Child, I Have a Poppy.

  1. The best teacher I have had was Autistic.

    Some of the most interesting people I have met are Autistic.

    One of the smartest people I have known is Autistic.

    One of the most adorable, incredible five year olds I have met is a Poppy. :)

  2. I’m not sure if my words will help here, but I think Poppy is lucky to have such great parents – and yes, talk about it, don’t go through it alone. From what I’ve heard and seen of Poppy, I can tell she’s a super sweet girl whose own strengths will come out. So sorry to hear what a difficult time you’ve been going through. {{Hugs}}

    1. Of course your words will help Dieu! I feel like I’ve been so alone with this for so long and it is such a relief to finally open up and receive feedback and reassurances. Much appreciated :)

  3. Just like you have a Poppy, I have an absolutely wonderful and quirky older brother. I figured everybody has their quirks… his are just more unusual than others. When he was 20, his quirks got a label: ‘Asperger’s Syndrome’ (which I think is on the autism spectrum). I know my parents and a lot of teachers would have liked to be able to better understand some things about how he sees and processes the world as he was growing up- which you can now do a bit easier! You sound like a great mom… enjoy the journey with your fabulous daughter!

  4. Dayna, you’ve been on my mind all this week more than usual. I am supporting you all the way on this next part of your journey that now has a label. Love you and Poppy and Kyle so much!

  5. DAYNA… I LOVED Kyle’s reply!! It sums it up so perfectly. Of course, there will be struggles and you have identified that fact and aren’t in denial about that. But he is right about who she IS and you guys are definitely the parents she needs, as I read these posts, and your own comments. And as much as we often hate labels, they do seem to have a purpose, the least of which to prove you are NOT crazy!! And the most of which to get the help you all need to cultivate the best environment for the lovely Poppy. :-)
    My thoughts are with you honey!

    1. Thank you Brenda! I must say that I am so so grateful that Kyle is my husband and Poppy’s dad. As much as I doubt myself, there has never been a doubt in my mind that he was always meant to be her father :)

  6. Hi Dayna: I am praying for you, since I read your blog. I was watching a show called Dr. Oz (you may get it up there), and they talked about Coconut oil. They referred to having success using it with Autistic people, Ahlshiemers (sp?) and Parkinson’s and even Lou Gehrics. It’s the best kind of fat you can eat or use. It helps repair the brain. I’m using it with my mother, who has brain damage from strokes. I’m not a good speller, so I spelled those illnesses wrong. sorry. I’m your mom’s cousin… God bless… Joyce

  7. Dayna I am sorry this thing has touched your little family. I have hought about the three of you so much the last 2 days. Remember to take care of yourself. It may be cliche but once this has a name I think it is easier. Love you all. Maxine

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