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.