It sounds like a fancy night club.  A place where the rich and famous hobnob, and pulsing beats can be heard and felt for miles around.

As it turns out it is actually a diagnosis code from the DSM V.  Those three numbers are what we hoped for.  They are what we have worked and seen doctor after doctor for.  They are the numbers that the state recognizes for services, and they are the numbers that help us to help Obie.  It seems weird to pray for a diagnosis.  It feels weird to want to belong to this club.  But saying “He is our special friend” has garnered far less understanding and support than you could imagine.  So now we can say he is autistic.  Now we can explain, in a word, why his behaviors might seem out of the ordinary at times.

When you are admitted into this club, you are given resources, recommendations for books, websites to check out, and you are encouraged to seek out local support groups.  When you are admitted to this club you are admitted to other illustrious clubs like DDD, and God willing, ALTCS.  When you are admitted to this club you are provided with prescriptions to help your child be successful.  A sprinkle of OT here, a dab of SP there, and a splash of HAB here.

BUT – let’s not forget something so incredibly essential to understanding this development.  Let’s not forget to look at that child, who before being admitted to Club 299, was just your sweet, loving, funny, silly and simply remarkable little boy.  Let’s not forget to acknowledge that he is still all those things and more.  Let’s remember to see him for him, and not his new fancy club status.


Autism Speaks has a “First 100 Days” toolkit that had this nugget conveniently tucked into the first page:


Yes.  Yes he is.