Our Journey to an Autism Diagnosis Part 2

Mar 14, 2018 | Autism

diagnosed with autism

Welcome to Part 2 of Our Journey to an Autism Diagnosis. If you missed Part 1 click here to catch up!

On the day of his three-hour evaluation, there were two other moms in the waiting room with their boys. Levi, as usual, wouldn’t sit still and had a couple outbursts of yelling. At one point he squirmed out of my arms and ran across the room. I chased after him and apologized to the other moms for his behavior.

I had the mentality that my child’s behavior was 100% my responsibility. I’ll never forget how sweet their reaction was, “Don’t even be sorry. We’re here for the same reason you are. This is our reality”. It was comforting to know that I was about to a part of a tribe of other parents who ‘get it’.

The evaluation was hard. The psychologist asked me to call Levi’s name to get his attention. No response. I watched her try to play different games with him. He went to a different corner of the room to avoid her. No eye contact. No response to any of her advances.

She sat down at a little table with a small container filled with chips. She sat Levi down on the opposite side and handed him a chip. He ate the chip and wanted more. The psychologist purposefully did not give him another in order to gauge how he communicated his needs. Levi got up out of his seat, walked over to her, looked at the ground turned away from her, and slightly nudged her arm with a sway of his body.

Our doctor brought in another psychologist to play with Levi while she typed up her notes at the end. When she finished she walked the other psychologist out. I heard her say something along the lines of, “what do you think?” And the visiting psychologist responded quickly with, “Oh yeah. Definitely”.

My best friend from school, Christina, made it down right before the diagnoses so I didn’t have to be alone. She drove over an hour just to be there for us. That meant the world. Good people still exist, trust me.

The psychologist began her diagnoses: “Levi has autism. I would place him at a level 3. The reason he is so high on the scale is because he is nonverbal. He could very well become verbal. Also, no doctor would ever diagnose a two-year-old with A.D.D. but it’s something you should keep in the back of your mind when he becomes school-age. I know you’re not going to really hear a lot of what I’m going to say after what I just told you but I’m going to keep going…”

And she was right. She kept going on about ‘Early Intervention’ and said words like ‘TSS’ and ‘wraparound’ which were words I didn’t understand. I tried very hard to focus and seem attentive but I wasn’t. I was far from. The car ride back home was the longest drive of my life.

I remember trying to listen to music but I couldn’t hear it. It felt like our northern route through the mountains of PA was a metaphor for our next journey. The diagnosis was there. It was official but our work had only just begun. It was going to be an uphill climb.

diagnosed with autism




Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest