Today was a tough day. In fact, one I’ve somehow been able to avoid for 17 years.
My nonverbal, severely autistic adult son had to undergo an IQ test / Psychological Assessment in order to ‘prove’ his continued need for services provided by the Medicaid waiver.
Because we all know kids outgrow autism and don’t really need support as adults
As I lay in bed awake all last night, I was overcome with emotion, my thoughts reverting back to this exact moment in 2006.
Waiting a year for his evaluation by a specialist was a formality to appease the pediatrician, I told myself. I found every explanation possible for his delays but worried myself sick that perhaps I was wrong.
On August 9th, 2006, our lives were forever changed when that piece of paper revealing an autism diagnosis was quietly slid across the table.
Based on the ABAS-3 lengthy questionnaire I’d filled out and the brief physical exam, I was told he functioned at a 9–12-month level and was given a grim prognosis for my toddler son’s future as a parting shot on our way out the door.
But as I vividly pictured how challenging that diagnosis day was so many years ago, it dawned on me that Skyler walked out of there the exact same person he was when he walked in.
Completely unaware of the labels placed on him or the ‘nevers’ used to dictate his future capabilities.
Autism or not, he would complete every milestone on his own time & in his own way, seek out the things in life that bring him joy and ultimately teach the world about embracing differences.
And that is exactly what he’s done.
So while the evaluation process was all too familiar, my feelings and emotions this morning were remarkably different.
Page after page of selecting the “almost never” or “is not able” bubbles in practically every category didn’t bring me to tears this time because I know it doesn’t even closely represent the intelligence and abilities of my son.
No longer will the unreliable test results send me into panic mode, fearful of the unknown.
This was simply a steppingstone to ensuring he continues receiving all of the resources, services & support he needs and DESERVES!
However, I still find it infuriating and sad that anyone with a disability should be subjected to archaic ‘testing’ to prove their worth!