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My Son’s Autism Diagnosis: One Year Later

I can’t believe it was a year ago.

August 1st.

This time last year.

I remember every single detail. The pad of paper I was holding, trying to see through tears and write down notes. What shoes I wore (they were red and sassy – an attempt to feel super bold that morning of the appointment), the bland beige couch I sat on, and the empathetic yet purposefully cautious, professional look on the doctor’s face as she said, “We clearly have an autism diagnosis here.”

I remember walking out of the office and immediately texting my husband. (We had agreed beforehand that I would text him and then go take some time alone to process before returning home. He knows me very, very well.)

High Functioning Autism and Generalized Anxiety Disorder” were the only words I typed.

Oh shit,” were the only ones he did.


(Please forgive the language if you find it offensive, but it was what happened…and it really was the perfect response.)


It has been a year.

I have to say that again because it is so hard to believe.

It has been a year.

On one hand, it seems like a lifetime ago.

On the other, it feels so close, like it happened a few hours ago and I am still reeling from all the wild emotions and that intense panic mixed with a deep fear of the unknown.

It has been a year.

A year filled with progress and revelations, with a step forward and two steps back followed by one big leap and then amazingly, another and another.

A year in which I have gotten to really know my son. I understand him, can anticipate his needs, push him when it’s necessary and protect him when it’s not.

A year that has financially depleted us, and a year that has shown us time and time again that where God guides, He provides.

A year that has been filled with countless insurance forms and phone calls and appointments to schedule.

A year that has shown the love and commitment of my husband.

A year of crying more and harder and longer than I ever knew possible.

A year of celebrating what seemed impossible 365 days ago.

A year of freaking out and feeling paralyzed over what to do next or how to help.

A year of encouraging and protecting the sweet but way too fragile sense of brotherhood between my two sons.

A year of grace that has brought me to my knees and taught me so much about God, His love, His mercy and power.

A year that has taught me to be so grateful for my sons, for all the tools we have to help them, for my sweet friends, and for my strong husband.

What is difficult to describe is the strange mix of sadness and acceptance that I feel when I think back over this year. Sad because it has been so hard and because it has been so permanent. Acceptance that it is just so hard, and it is in fact so permanent.

What is also difficult to describe is how, in the midst of this sadness there is so much joy and gratitude for the blessings upon blessings we have been given.

It has been quite a year.

The only thing left to say is –

on to the next.

My Son's Autism Diagnosis_ One Year Later












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  1. Ok so Happy 1 year Diagnosis Anniversary! OR Happy 1 year but you pretty much knew all along and no one believed you or trusted your parenting and thank God you married Mick cuz Sourdough’s Father is a freakin psycho- Anniversary. Either way, I really appreciate your transparent blog entry and LOVE YOU.

    1. I can’t stop laughing. Thank you!!!!

  2. Happy Anniversary! You made it this far. Been doing it 34 with our son who has Down syndrome and autism. I’m still sad some days. I wanted more for him but I also accept him for who he is and what he has accomplished. The tension between those two are constant. Onward one day, one month, one year at a time drowning in God’s never ending grace and strength, that’s what I wish for you.

    1. Wow. Thank you so, so much. I love how you describe it – the tension between acceptance and progress. So much wisdom and experience in your words. Thank you for sharing.

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