There are many feelings that go through your mind when you hear the sentence, “We believe that your son might have Tourette’s.” For me, there was a torrent of raw fear that I dared not show in front of my son. This was followed by denial, which tripped on the heels of grief, followed by more denial. I remember leaving the ER room to cry (I didn’t want our son, Tate, to see me), and finding my dad in the waiting area. I took one look at him, told him that they thought Tate had Tourette’s, and burst into tears. All I knew about this disorder was what I had seen on T.V., and it was not good. The process by which Tate was officially diagnosed was brutal. Our son spent a total of four days in the hospital, because he was unable to control his legs, and had difficulty walking. He was moving his head from side-to-side in constant, gentle motions, followed by sequential eye blinks. He had been making strange “allergy-like” sounds for months, and they kept coming in a steady flow of grunts, sniffs, and throat clearings. In walked doctor, after doctor, who did test, after test. Everyone had theories, and no one had certain answers. When the final word came, we could no longer deny the obvious: Our four year-old had Tourette’s. We had known something was wrong for months, but Tourette’s was NOT what we had planned for our son’s life.
Not even close.
That was three years ago.
This year, we received confirmation of a diagnosis for our middle son, Blayne. We had seen the signs for years, but hearing an official diagnosis never fails to knock the breath out of any parent:
Asperger’s, with a side of anxiety, topped with possible Auditory Processing Disorder.
(Oh, and by the way, Tate does indeed have a nice healthy scoop of ADHD to go on his Tourette’s sundae.)
“Gee!” I can hear you saying, “Talk about depressing.”
Oh, no, friend!
This is not THE END of our amazing tale.
God is WAY too BIG to leave the story like this.
Please come back, I’d love to tell you all about it.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. “ (Jeremiah 29:11)
(Layla lives in Oklahoma with her husband and three sons. She is a homeschool mother, a writer, an advocate for Special Needs Children and Women that have been caught in Human Trafficking).