Last week we had the big appointment, the next step in the Autism assessment. As you would expect we still do not really have any answers. The paediatrician took me and my husband into one room whilst two speech and language therapists went into another room to play with our little Sensory Seeker. It was checked several times that we were clear and okay with the fact that they would be video recording his behaviour.
At the beginning of the Autism assessment it was made clear what we and they hoped would come out of the appointment. I was clear in the fact that I believe him to have high functioning Autism and would like a diagnosis if that were the case; and if not to discover what it was.
Autism Assessment – Pregnancy, Birth and the First 2 years
During the Autism assessment the paediatrician asked a lot of questions about the pregnancy and first two years of his life. It makes me feel pretty bad because it is all a bit of a blur and to be honest he cried a lot, I found it hard to play with him (he still has limited attention span), and can’t really remember much mother-baby communication (apart from a smacking of his lips kind of clucking sound when he wanted feeding).
The paediatrician could not have been lovelier for the duration of the Autism assessment, asking how I’d coped with 4 boys (especially since I had been breastfeeding both of the youngest 2 at the same time). I did remember how empowered I had felt when our little Sensory Seeker was a baby, especially when I did not give up and let people tell me that my breastfeeding was the cause of his weight loss.
She reassured us me that his behaviour was not down to parenting, and nor did she believe that he was suffering from a developmental delay (although I’m sure I would prefer this to be the case so he could catch up I just know it not to be true). That they had enough experience to be unpick the complicated nature of his behaviour and see which boxes he ticks, and categories he falls into. That actually, mainly due to his language developmental delay, he may end up diagnosed as something now, and then a few more years down the line reassessed and re-diagnosed. That the important thing was to establish what help would suit him best right now. The thing is I know this Autism assessment will question his imaginative play and language delay coupled with just how bright he can be – which conflicts an Autism and Aspergers diagnosis. He may still remain undiagnosed.
Autism Assessment – Different view points
There’s always a worry that people do not see what we see – and I am sure I can say we here and it’s not just me. So it was reassuring that at the end she went and spoke to the language therapists, who took part in the Autism assessment, they described him (and the way he plays) exactly as we just had. What that all means I do not know.
I know the paediatrician has arranged a meeting with the school next month – so there will not be any answers until after then. But things are coming along well. His one to one support is looking after him well, and I can see he is popular among some of the children. I saw a couple of boys doing this special ‘tickle’ thing our boy does yesterday to him.
Every morning we go in and we look at his visual book together. His one to one shows him the picture of what he is going to do and then he finds it in his book and puts it on the next page, then the next picture, then the next – until he can see what he is doing for the whole day. His one to one has copies of the pictures and together they pin them to a wall in the book corner. As the day goes on, and the activities are done, she takes them away. This means he can see what is left to come, and sort of a judge of how much of the day is left. I take the book home and we can then ‘discuss’ what he has done at home. I’m finding he is getting more and more patient with it all, a clear sign his attention span is developing too.