On Friday we drove up to Charlotte, North Carolina, to see a developmental pediatrician in order to get a second opinion on Knox’s Autism diagnosis. First off, we almost missed the appointment because we were late- I called to say we’d be 15 minutes late because of traffic, and I was told “we have a ten minute window.” From that point on, our car ride was less than pleasant. I was driving (by Trevor’s choice), and yet he chose to be a backseat driver the whole way there. Then he kept trying to look up directions on his phone instead of on the paper they actually gave us with directions, so we missed our turn off of the exit. Of course, according to him, I was the one at fault, but I am pretty sure that’s how marriage works (aka blame the other person!). By the time we got there, we were 20 minutes late and dangerously close to killing each other. Luckily, we got over it and still love each other, and we were able to keep our appointment!
The doctor was really nice and very knowledgeable. We were with her for about an hour. She evaluated Knox by watching him, asking us questions and asking him to do certain things. She was happy with how he was able to draw the things she drew, how smart he was and how affectionate. She pointed out some things that aren’t “normal” and need to be worked on. After the evaluation, she confirmed his original diagnosis, saying that he was more mild on the scale and that even though she hadn’t done cognitive testing, he appears to be high-functioning. She said that some people may think he had PDD just looking at him, but diagnostically, he does meet full criteria for Autism. She told us that he may end up being one of those kids you see in a few years and never know that anything was wrong… that would be nice!
I asked her about the soy allergy, and she said that while there aren’t any links to allergies and Autism, if a child is allergic to something, it can affect their behavior. She likened it to pumping someone who is lactose intolerant full of milk then sending them to work. Obviously, they wouldn’t be able to perform at their best if they were uncomfortable and reacting to the dairy. So, we are going to schedule Knox for allergy testing. If I had to guess, I’d say he is probably just like Trevor and allergic to everything outside, which is so sad because he loves to be outside so he’ll end up with allergy shots.
The doctor wants to see us back in a year to check up on Knox, and she praised us for doing everything “right.” ABA therapy is what is proven to work for kids with Autism, so that was her biggest recommendation. Quite frankly, I don’t understand some parents. All of these doctors and specialists act so impressed that we have Knox in speech, intervention and therapy already. How could we not?? Knowing what we know, it would be irresponsible and selfish of us to keep him away from what he needs. I understand not liking a diagnosis. Believe me, I get it. However, withholding service from your child because you don’t want to believe their diagnosis? That is ridiculous. It makes me angry how many parents choose to ignore their children’s symptoms for so long when early intervention is SO important!! If you see things that are concerning, bring them up to your pediatrician and PUSH for an evaluation. Because if you’re right, you can help them early and give them a much better shot at a normal adult life. If you wait so that they can have a “normal” childhood, you may be crippling them in the long run. It’s hard, don’t mistake it- it sucks to have to schedule dozens of appointments a month for your two year-old when you wish they could just be playing outside like a regular little boy, but it’s what is BEST FOR HIM. That’s why we do it. Not because it’s fun for us because, obviously, it is not.
Speaking of more appointments, I also met with the school district this week about Knox’s transition into their services. When he turns three, BabyNet will no longer provide service for him and the district will take over. We’ll have an evaluation in the coming weeks, and when he turns three, he will start preschool at a local elementary school. Depending on what they think his needs are, he’ll be placed into an appropriate class for the level of assistance and instruction he needs. It will likely be four half days a week. That will be really nice for him to get that social interaction, as well as some therapies he needs outside of the house.
Knox has randomly started talking like crazy over the past two weeks. He is repeating EVERYTHING we say, and it is just awesome! I don’t know if it’s just “clicking” for him all of a sudden or what happened, but we welcome the flood of words that is coming out of him. Trevor especially likes to hear him say “Lotion” because he says it “boh-shin” which sounds a lot like something else… men and their sense of humor! I’m so glad that Knox is making progress. He is such an amazing little boy, and we are thrilled that his hard work is paying off!
This work, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.