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Dual Diagnosis: The Day My Daughter’s Diagnosis Changed

Dual Diagnosis: The Day My Daughter’s Diagnosis Changed

 

If you have been following me for a while, you know we recently had a doctor’s appointment with a new neurologist.

I loved her approach.  She took time just to observe and ask questions. Today was our second appointment.  I completed several questionnaires, as did her teacher.

The doctor basically confirmed my thoughts.

About 8 years ago, 2 sweet camp teachers (Mrs. Melissa & Mrs. Margaret), pulled me aside and lovingly asked me if Tayler had ever been diagnosed with Autism.

I saw the things they saw, and I noticed that she was simply “different” than her peers with Down Syndrome.

Lots of kids with Down Syndrome have sensory difficulties, but hers tended to be easily noticeable and often affected her ability to function.

At that time, I took her to her former PCP.  He essentially told me that because she “smiled” and “interacted” with others, most of her behaviors could be attributed to her Down Syndrome diagnosis.

But it didn’t feel right.

The dual diagnosis of Down Syndrome and Autism is quite new, with many doctors refusing to acknowledge the Spectrum of persons with Down Syndrome.

I’m not sure if it’s because Tayler is getting older, but the differences are very clear to me.  The aversion to loud noises, the difficulty in social situations, the impulsive behavior…

I spoke with Lewis (my husband), and I told him I owed it to her to get a second opinion.

Our doctor noticed what I noticed.

And with that, she told me that Tayler scored High on the chart of probability of an Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnosis.

 

I didn’t cry, I really didn’t feel much at all.  Because I’ve known for a while that she was different.  I love her just the same.

Her smile is and always will be beautiful and her laughter contagious.

In the mist of questions such as Why Me God?…

I choose to respond, Why NOT Me God?

I am her mother.

Her fiercest advocate- a forever “Mama Bear”.

Both Lewis and I are prepared to take care of her no matter what diagnosis comes her way.

She shall always experience and feel our love. We will do our best to help her live a happy and fulfilled life.

So the list of things I will write about, fight for, and research about will now include Autism.

It’s not what I asked for, but like many things in life, it can’t and won’t be ignored.

We return in a few weeks. We are having genetic testing done.  Science has come a long way, and we will use it to develop a new plan.

Tayler may be Dually Diagnosed, but she will always be doubly loved.

 

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