Today has been a very long day…
This morning my son went for his 18month Well Child check up. He got his last HepA shot. He also got his first early screening for Autism. I had to fill out a questionnaire, without knowing what exactly it was. I figured it was a new version of the one I always fill out, because the questions were pretty much the same. Well, I was wrong.
I filled it out, and honestly every answer I put on there was honest. But his doctor on the other hand… was concerned. Of her chief concerns were…
language development isn’t where it should be right now. That’s understandable. Can’t argue that.
He doesn’t make eye contact. – To this, I told her that he does. Her response was “He isn’t making eye-contact with me.” My reply? “There’s books and toys in here, and he’s not here often enough to get used to the office. He’s distracted and exploring. Of course he doesn’t want to make eye contact when there’s toys on the floor and he wants to play.” For the record, he does make regular eye contact, and will actually hold staring contests with other children his age.
He doesn’t respond to language. – To this I told her “He doesn’t see you but once every few months. You’re a stranger to him. Of course he’s not going to respond a whole lot to you.” At which point my son responded to me telling him to give her back her folder, and hugged her when I told him it was rude and to apologize.
I’m not sitting here denying that there might be developmental issues. There is family history of autism in both my and my husband’s families. So I’m not ruling it out. But I’m not going to stand for someone sitting there who hardly ever sees my kid (these days when he goes to the doctor’s office, we deal with the NP instead of the actual doctor, which is fine because Mindy is AMAZING!) and is basically saying he’s got one thing when she legit has not witnessed the behaviors, or lack thereof, and spent only 5 minutes in the room with him and wasn’t actually watching his behaviors and such in the first damn place.
Either way, BECAUSE OF THE FAMILY HISTORY, we were already going to get him tested at age 3. Now, though, we’re going to get him tested a lot sooner. Representatives from a program called Babies Can’t Wait will be getting in touch with us to set up a time and day they can come out to the house. Their job is to observe him in his natural environment before making a decision and such. If they feel he might be autistic, or there’s something there to be looked at, they make the official recommendation for a specialist referral. So, if they decide it’s likely or that he’s showing enough signs, they’ll let his doctor know and her office will schedule with their pediatric behavioral specialist, and a formal diagnosis will be made.
So, I’ve been dealing with the very real possibility of my son being a special needs child. This doesn’t make me love him any less. I’m just scared that I might not be good enough to be up for the task of raising a special needs child. Though, one thing that’s got me through today was the fact that in this day and age, they know so much more about autism and the spectrum than they did when my husband and my older brother were children. And there are so many more resources available to us now.
Anyway, here’s an adorable picture, to lighten the mood! My Boobear cuddled up in my lap watching the Spongebod Squarepants Movie.