Our Journey to an Autism Diagnosis Part 1

Mar 2, 2018 | Autism

diagnosed with autism

Autism is everywhere. It’s estimated that 1 in 68 people have it. Wow. I had lived my life virtually untouched by any formalities of autism so when my son was diagnosed it opened my eyes in big ways.

Levi, my sweet boy, was in a new daycare. I switched daycares because we ran into problems. He was falling asleep at the lunch table, pretty much face planting into his food on a daily basis. I was called in for a parent-teacher conference. The teacher and staff were worried that he wasn’t getting enough sleep at night. I knew that wasn’t true. I was angry. There were over 20 kids in his classroom at the time. That was too much for him so I decided to switch.

Levi’s new daycare was a dream. He had about 5 kids in his class and was doing great…. until he moved up to the two-year-old room. His new teacher had made a couple comments about his mannerisms that I brushed off, “Oh yeah, he does shove food in his mouth sometimes” and “yeah, he does really well playing by himself”.

On a sunny April day, I went to pick up my babe after a day of nursing school. I walked in and his teacher said she needed to talk to me with the Director. My heart dropped. I honestly thought it was because I was behind on a payment but it was less than $30 so could it really be that?

The meeting is a blur in my memory. I remember they showed me papers of the typical developmental milestones for his age and kept saying the words “sensory issues”. I broke down in the middle of the office in tears. My sweet boy was healthy and happy. How could anything be wrong with him? I also felt extremely guilty because I had been working full-time and going to school all while being a single parent. ‘I haven’t been spending enough time with him’, I thought, ‘how could I be so selfish?’

I scheduled an appointment with his pediatrician before I even pulled out of that daycare parking lot that day. I was sad but angrier than anything. I scheduled the appointment out of pure spite. I thought, ‘Fine, I’ll get him checked just to prove to you that he’s fine. Just because my child is different doesn’t mean that there is something wrong with him’.

Fast forward to our first meeting with the behavioral psychologist– the initial consult was relatively quick. She gave me a mountain of questionnaires to fill out (over 600 questions). When I started answering them, reality hit.

“Does your child point?” No

“Does your child respond to his/her name?” No

“Have you ever worried your child was deaf?” Yes

“Does your child have more than 10 words” No

I found a free MCHART test online on the Autism Speaks website. Sure enough, the test said he was at a “high risk” and “should be taken in for a professional evaluation”. I knew after all of the questions I answered that Levi was absolutely autistic.

To read the second part of Our Journey to a Diagnosis, click this link.

diagnosed with autism


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