It was our son’s 15 month wellness check-up. My husband had to work, so I took the lil man by myself. We had a few concerns over some milestones not being met by this age: mainly pointing and waving. I had read in Parenting magazine that these could be two early indicators of Autism. I did not share that information with the pediatrician. She asked a few more questions and I left the appointment with a questionnaire to fill out.
When reading over the questionnaire, I could see the majority of answers were “Not at all” in regards to skills he has mastered (or at least done once – which you can then select “Sometimes”). I quickly filled out the ‘exam’ and had it in the mail the following day. This was the beginning of November. The 10th I believe.
Due to the holidays, it took a bit of time before my husband and I heard back from Far Northern Regional Center. We were going to have our son’s first evaluation after Thanksgiving. The time leading up to the evaluation I wavered between thinking my son is fine to thinking there are some distinct differences between him and other kids his age. However, talking to my mom, we decided the evaluation would just “ease my mind” and that all would be okay.
Unfortunately, the first evaluation ended with an immediate response of another evaluation being needed and that he had shown some “Reg Flags” for being on the autism spectrum. Two more evaluations followed with a similar outlook on our son.
Nothing could have readied me for the reading of the reports we received in the mail on Evaluations 2 and 3. Upon reading Evaluation 2, it spoke of my son in such a depressing tone. Fortunately, the report for Evaluation 3 included that he is happy and likes music and dancing (the little things, you know).
It is one thing looking at your own child and getting these thoughts stuck in your own head. However, to have them reaffirmed by professionals. As the woman who conducted the initial evaluation so bluntly put it, “His scores were fairly behind in most areas which pretty much confirms our suspicions of autism”. That being said, he cannot be formally diagnosed until the age of 2.
Each day that passes, his “red flags” become glaringly bright for me and his father. Things we had thought we had found cute for a baby are not seeming so cute for a toddler. We seem to have to apologize for his quirkiness more and more. And it seems that people 1. think we cannot control our child or 2. have their own suspicions of our child. Either way, they remain silent for now (although we play their dialogue in our own heads).
The lil man is nearly 18 months (in a few days) and begins his Extended Early Intervention tomorrow morning, February 1st. He qualified for the most intense program of 50 hours of intervention each month.
Thank you for joining us on this journey….