I said in my last post that I had big news, and it’s true! Occupational therapy is working well for my son, but he has needed a bit more help than that.
Remember when I said that the wait for the developmental pediatrician was 8 months? Well, my family was graced with a miracle.
On a Wednesday morning about a month and a half ago I got a call from the Melmed Center (the developmental pediatricians down in Phoenix that are evidently THE best) stating that they had an opening the following morning at 8am if we wanted it.
I am certainly not someone who looks a gift horse in the mouth, so I said,
“Yes! I’ll take it!”
I immediately got online and got a hotel room (since there was NO way I was driving 2 hours with my kids to get to an 8am appointment).
So I had no idea what to expect, but thankfully the doctor was so kind and knowledgeable.
My son and I sat in the doctor’s office and, while my son played, I pretty much just answered questions that the doctor had.
It took 2 hours long.
I really felt like nothing was coming of it. I was just talking about my son’s aggression and a few other behaviors, but then she said that she had a good idea about what was going on:
I was floored. You have an “image” of what an autistic child looks like, and that image wasn’t my son. I later read a quote that said, “if you have met one autistic child then you have met one autistic child.”
Autism can present itself in so many ways, and I guess my son showed a combination of some of those signs.
I’ll admit, it didn’t sink in right away.
It was just such a shock. The word “Autism” has so many negative connotations.
“How will people react when they find out?”
“Should I even tell anyone?”
“Will people treat my son differently if they know?”
“Will people be more judgmental if they don’t know?”
I was so full of questions, but I couldn’t ask. I started crying right then and there. The doctor tried to comfort me, but then I realized something.
At that moment, right then, I was feeling the strangest feeling:
I knew that this was going to bless us.
The diagnosis didn’t change my son. He was going to be the way that he was regardless. But the diagnosis did give us many things:
The doctor then informed though that it wasn’t an official diagnosis…yet. He still needed formal testing done using the ADOS (Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule). I was told that there was actually a research study taking place with children 18 months to 4 years where they not only do the testing, it’s free.
It would have be $2000 otherwise.
I immediately signed him up because this was obviously part of the blessing of getting in when we did. I was told that the study would have been completed by the time we came in November. It was now or never. I just couldn’t believe how blessed we were. My son was getting the testing and help that he needed, at the price that we needed.
I was given homework though. I needed to get him into school of some sort asap. With Autism, social interactions are more difficult because they don’t come naturally. They really need to be taught. So him being at home with me and my family wasn’t doing him any sort of favor.
Along with school, I needed to contact different state resources to see what could be done to help him. I was also referred to the book 1-2-3 Magic for discipline and The Out-of-Sync Child for his sensory processing disorder (which was now alongside Autism).
Even though I have finally started to get some answers, the journey is just beginning.
Do you have any experience with Autism or sensory processing disorders? Let me know in the comments or let me know what questions you might have. I have been doing A LOT of research recently to say the least.
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