A Familiar Face Brings So Much Emotion

Recently at one of Griffin’s appointments I noticed a woman who looked really familiar to me.

I just assumed it was because we see her in the hallways at Griffin’s regular appointments.

But then it hit me…

This woman was the first doctor to diagnosis Griffin with having Aspergers.

I remember that day so vividly.

We were living in downtown Chicago after just moving from New Jersey. Griffin started kindergarten and by the second day I was getting pulled aside by the teacher who was already concerned with Griffin’s behavior. He was having a hard time staying seated, would get silly, and have a hard time with transitions.

At first we thought his behaviors were due to the move, starting full-time school, and the size of his classroom.

But before we knew it we were making appointments with specialists to figure out what was going on. This was a very stressful and confusing time for all of us. Up until this point we just thought Griffin was quirky and had an easy time learning new things. He had attended pre-school in New Jersey without any issues.

The first appointment was made with a specialist at Children’s Memorial Hospital.

While Griffin enjoyed the toys in the waiting room, I remember sitting there wondering what they were going to tell us. Tom was unable to go with us and I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to remember everything the doctor would tell me.

Soon enough we were brought into the doctor’s office. She asked me some questions and then spoke with Griffin.

The appointment lasted no more than 20 minutes and then the following diagnosis came out of the doctor’s mouth, “I believe Griffin has Aspergers. He’ll most likely have a job that uses his high intelligence and marry a woman who is also highly intelligent. Oh and it will always be something.” This last sentence was regarding that there was always going to be something Griffin would have to work on to overcome.

My brain almost exploded. The questions I was thinking wouldn’t stop. What the actual hell was going on? What is Aspergers? How could she know that was what he had in such a short amount of time? How am I going to keep it together until we get back home? Does this mean there’s something WRONG with Griffin? And although the future she predicted sounded great, how could she know that? And really thanks for giving us hope by adding the “It will always be something.”

The doctor suggested Griffin attend a social skills group and sent us on our way.

I went home stunned and called Tom to let him know how the appointment went. I had no problem remembering everything she said.

That night we went through so many emotions, from sadness to pride in knowing that Griffin was exactly who he was supposed to be and that we wouldn’t trade him for the world (at least not until he turned into a teenager 😉 ).

Then we tried to come up with what to do next.

We decided to get a second opinion and was once again told it looked like Griffin’s diagnosis of Aspergers was the most accurate. I felt more comfortable with this doctor because she took more time with us and acknowledged that she understood our concerns with the first diagnosis.

We didn’t know what to tell our family and friends. For the longest time we didn’t say anything because we didn’t understand what was going on and to try and explain to others seemed impossible.

It’s been almost nine years since that appointment. The progress Griffin has made is amazing. He proudly tells people about his Aspergers.

We’ve been so fortunate to get so much insight directly from Griffin and the specialists that he’s worked with.

Now when I see this Doctor I can’t help but laugh to myself. Because she was right about at least one thing so far, It really is always something!

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