One of the biggest frustrations for me, as the mom of a special needs kid, is feeling like I’m the only one seeing things at times. It’s such a huge relief when a doctor or therapist validates me regarding the issues I’ve noticed. Every time my son’s gotten a diagnosis, I’ve felt more or less elated. In our crazy health care world, it’s so crucial that the medical world recognize children’s issues so that health insurance companies in turn can recognize–and cover–medical services.
It’s especially difficult at school. Busy teachers of young kids don’t have time to watch every kid through every moment of the day. A child like mine, who is high functioning ASD with Sensory Processing Disorder and a lot of stims, does pretty well in school. Children with behavior problems often need more attention and one on one time than he does. But as a result, he sometimes slips through the cracks or his teachers downplay his issues. (Don’t get me wrong, I’ve loved all his teachers, but it can be frustrated when they’re not seeing what you see at home.)
Friends and family can also become a source of frustration and anxiety. As well meaning as, “He seems totally normal,” is, it can also be devastating if you’re feeling guilty and stressed out and weird already. I’ve had knee jerk reactions of wanting to yell, “I am not making this up!” But I always smile and nod and say thank you.