Today was spent at the psychiatrists doing a new psychological evaluation for D. I sat there talking about all the “issues” going on for him and realized after an hour and a half how totally negative sounding things were. I sat there and finally looked up when asked if I had anything else to add and had to say that while that was all of the things that we needed to seek help for there was so much more to D. I realized that if I left it at what I said he sounded extremely troubled indeed. While we all seek out all of the help for our children or adults who are struggling it is so easy to fall into all that is “wrong” and forget to look at all that is right. I have started journaling things for my children. Things about what they have done that has made my heart rejoice.
I then spent a half hour going over all of the wonderful things that D does. How he is the first one to take his paralyzed sister out to swing. How he is the one who worries over someone getting hurt. The thing was that it seemed that the mood became quite impatient with hearing the good things. How can there be a diagnosis that is complete without the complete picture? I was also surprised that this questioning was originally to be done with my son there. I asked that he be allowed to leave before I would speak. I felt it was quite inappropriate to explain what worried us in front of a boy who already struggles with self esteem on a constant basis.
So at the end we talked about as much as can be fit into 2 hours and then he spent 5 hours doing tests. He came out asking if we could come back to finish as he was exhausted and on the drive home asked if he had finally passed the test so he was no longer FAS. I was floored by this question. I have been asked a LOT of questions but never this one.
I wish that there was an easier way for people with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disease to receive services but the fact is that until FASD is included in the DSM we will continually have to seek out any other diagnoses to get services for people who have this disorder. It seems wrong to have to work so hard to find any other condition in order to receive the services that are desperately needed for this population. Someday FASD will get the recognition it needs. I continue to urge people to write to the committees responsible for editing the DSM and encourage them to include FASD in the DSM-V. This is one way that everyone can advocate for a person with FASD.