Next week, Roger has his second ADOS. For this process, our therapist and I have been discussing his first warning signs of autism, the stages he went through, what were the strong indications of autism and how they presented themselves, etc. Yesterday, I filled out the parent assessment regarding Roger’s skills, behaviors, and emotional development.
I always state how fantastic my son is (and he is) but filling out the assessment made me realize how stressful our lives really are on a daily basis. One day on FB, I saw someone ask a question regarding their child having about 2 meltdowns a week and if they may have autism (roughly around the age of my son). Two meltdowns a week would be awesome! We deal with 2 meltdowns before school, meltdowns in the car on the way home from school, after therapies, around mealtimes, with the going to bed routine. If we only had two meltdowns in a day, it would be manageable. Many questions focused on the frequency of tantrums, mood swings, anger, sadness, bodily harm, hurting others, etc. I cannot believe the amount of times I chose Very Frequently.
The last portion of the questions dealt with basic skills obtained: hygiene related, verbal, academic – counting/letters, fine motor. He does very well with basic academic skills such as number/letter recognition, but completely is lacking fine motor for school. He cannot write his name without tracing it or draw figures. In addition, he has great difficulty dressing himself and does virtually none of his hygiene without being aided.
It was interesting to reflect on how much Roger has grown and advanced since his first ADOS (3.5 years ago). It was also very sad to see all the skills and behaviors he still has. He is a gentle, sweet boy. However, his limitations must frustrate him. I realize he needs to learn better coping skills (as do I). I am very interested in seeing his teacher’s assessment as well as the finalized ADOS. This time it is not as nerve-wracking as his first ADOS, but it surely is bringing a lot of emotions forward.
It is good to reflect.