They Dropped The A-Bomb On Us

So I’ve written about Babyboy’s issues. Babyboy is in Early Intervention for speech delay, as well as some other delays. He’s two and a half, and we know he’s got some language and behavioral delays: he barely has any words and he doesn’t use any words consistently; he doesn’t wave hello or bye-bye; he rarely greets us or Nana when we walk in the door; he doesn’t make alot of eye contact.

But he’s also so loving, running to us for random hugs and kisses, snuggling in our laps in the mornings and evenings, or just to watch Sesame. He loves variety in meals, games and shows, and thrives on a change of locale. He explores new places with gusto. He doesn’t seem to have any sensory issues, and loves to be dirty, muddy, sandy, covered in almond butter and jelly… He just doesn’t have any of what we have usually associated with the A-word.

But last evening, his Early Intervention (EI) team met with us, and told us flat out that they are all in agreement that they are very concerned, because babyboy “is showing many red flags for autism.” They stressed that autism is really a wide spectrum of disorders, and kids can have varying  presentations. They strongly encouraged us to make an appointment with a developmental disorders team, for an evaluation. If he is “on the spectrum”, he can qualify for services, and the earlier the better.

Hubby and I have known that Babyboy was at risk for autism– he’s a boy, Hubby is in the older-dad age range, and autism runs in the family. But we kind of wrote it off as a possibility, because he just didn’t fit our idea of what autism is.

We may have been in denial, because hearing the word spoken was quite jarring to us both.

As far as his behavioral and speech delays, he’s already making progress, even after barely two months of EI. He’s no longer hitting other kids if they get too close- he seems interested in what they are doing, and even gets closer, on purpose. He’s loving arts and crafts, especially painting. He’s getting the hang of singing time, and loves to play instruments and make noise. He’s signing a bit, “more” and “done”. He’s especially attached to his play therapist, also a mom, and even sits in her lap to read books. He zooms cars, he builds towers, he knocks towers down with zooming cars. He builds train sets, then messes them up. He makes big messes, but then does “cleean up, cleean up” with happy energy.

I don’t know, we don’t know. Is he autistic? What is going on?

I guess with time, and expertise, we’ll find out.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “They Dropped The A-Bomb On Us

  1. Wow. I can’t even imagine what that must be like. Thank you for posting about it. I hope that, in time, you get all the answers you need. I have referred two children I was concerned about in my 6 years of practice. It’s devastating to the family but with early intervention, I have seen some dramatic results.

    Good luck.

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  2. Lara

    You will all be in my prayers. It sounds like you are in good hands. And you have the right way to think about it, all the wonderful things you see about who he is and how he’s developing. A diagnosis changes the assistance you get, but not the person he is.

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  3. Lynda M O

    Holding your family up to the Universal Healing Power; he will be an asset to your family whatever label he’s given. Thanks unto the bestower of Littles.

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  4. Julie

    I have only read your blog for a little while but I have followed your posts with interest because you seem like such a genuinely nice person and great mother and physician. You seem very caring and positive and like someone who would be great to have as a caregiver, a colleague and a friend. As you say, it is hard to know what is really going on but what is clear is that your little boy could not be luckier. He has a wonderfully loving, clear-headed set of parents who are going to help him grow and reach his full potential. I am sending healing thoughts and prayers to you all as you figure out how best to help your baby boy.

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  5. inês, lisboa, portugal

    It seems to me it´s too soon to think about it, I mean, every baby has a different time to achive each dtep of development. Let him be happy and wait. Time will say. But time has probably not come yrt for you to be worry…Best wishes!.

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