My son’s Doctor Visit today.

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.

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7 responses to “My son’s Doctor Visit today.

  1. Wow, it’s so stressful isn’t it? My son is on the spectrum, but only just, and it’s been tough over the years dealing with schools. If we’d understood more about it earlier I might have pushed for a diagnosis so that he could have been treated with more understanding and not gone through some of the damaging things he did. On the other hand, the powers the be can sometimes interfere too much. I think you have to trust your instinct and be strong in the face of people like the Dr you describe – exactly as you were, but geez it’s draining isn’t it? If it turns out you need help and you find good help stick with them.

    I can recommend a book (I got it on Audible as an audio book) called Living With Asperger Syndrome by Dr Joan Gomez if you want to good understanding yourself, it can help you know what to look for, it helped me a lot. It goes through all the signs at various stages, not just for Aspergers either although it’s all the same thing now-spectrum disorders. It also talks about how some Aspies consider themselves lucky, and I can see their point! My son is a handful to get through the school system, but he’s growing into an awesome young man that I’m very proud of 🙂

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    • My older brother was the same. The experts, everyone said he would never be able to go back to regular public school. But he did better and then he proved them wrong. Then they said he would never graduate. He graduated in the top percentile of his high school class, and with honors. His point on the spectrum was a combination of the physical and the neurological.
      The possibility of my son being autistic is daunting, and the added responsibilities that entails are scary. But the upside is that if he is formally diagnosed, there’s so many programs and resources available in my area that are here to help, and I’ve only heard good things about them. Either way, I know it’ll all turn out fine no matter what diagnosis (or lack thereof) he gets. My husband is on the spectrum, just barely as well. Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). Basically Aspergers but with the ability for eye contact (most times anyway).
      I’ve written the title of that book down. I’ll look it up on Audible (with a toddler, audio books are a gift from the gods).
      Having a reference I can get to even when the internet goes down would be a great help for me when handling both my son AND my husband. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m sure that you will do everything you need to do for your family, us mothers seem to be able find strength even when we think we wouldn’t be able to, just make sure you take time out for yourself sometimes!

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  2. I know in my heart that my oldest (now 26) has Asperger’s based on his behaviors as a small child. They were unwilling to label him, which I guess is a good thing; however, he did receive special services when he was young that helped him immensely. He has learned to compensate for the most part. He now teaches music at the elementary level. Music saved him, I always say. I’m also sure that I am on the spectrum as well as my ex-husband. These days the screening process and the help that can be provided is a godsend. I do hope that for your sake, your son comes out as neurotypical. Nice picture. 🙂 Spongebob makes me happy, too.

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    • Whether he is or isn’t, that’ll be for us to find out. Music, poetry, and wrestling records were my brother’s specialty. And cooking. Best hash slinger Cartersville ever had. Spent over 10 years working at Waffle House, and not because it’s all he could get. Got offered better cooking jobs all over town, one even by our local Hilton Garden hotel. He just really liked working there. Refused promotions. And when people found out he’d gone to another Waffle House in town (because he moved across town and such) almost all the business would follow him to the new location.
      Whichever way this takes, I’m just grateful they know so much more now, and there’s so much that can be done to help now. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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