This Friday, we get Jackson’s results from his in-depth Autism screening through a private psychologist. Even though he’s not even 3 years old, there are specific tests to see where J would fall on the spectrum.
At this point in our journey, Matt & I still have mixed feelings about what we want to happen. Honestly, no one wishes their kid has ASD but in this case, we kind of do? The reason being, he would only get all the necessary ABA therapy he’d need WITH that specific label. Shitty, right? & of course, the therapy is intense. Should he be deemed autistic, our therapy will begin the following Monday 830-1130am, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday. Wednesday is skipped because he already has OT & Speech that morning.
With the therapy starting up & taking up the entire morning until his naptime, that means his time at daycare will come to an end, at least for now. As I’ve stated IN THE PAST, we believe daycare has helped & will continue to help J with certain developments so daycare won’t be gone forever. Only maybe a month so he can get comfortable with his therapists. Then we have the option for some sessions to be held at the daycare which is awesome!
But to be very clear, diagnosis or not, Jackson is still & will always be our pride & joy. There’s no denying it. & should we get the diagnosis, he won’t get special treatment. He just learns differently than others & this will provide a massive learning opportunity for us as his parents to help him. I can’t speak for Matt but I’m already seeing things from a different perspective for Jackson to be more inclusive. It’s also a learning opportunity for his daycare, our friends & family, the list could go on & on. Bottom line: a diagnosis will not be shutting any doors. It’ll be opening them all.
I’ve wrestled with the question “What do we think the psychologist will say about Jackson?” & Matt & I have come to the conclusion that she will deem him as autistic for 2 reasons.
1. ERROR ON THE SIDE OF CAUTION
The entire reason we already have an ‘at risk’ diagnosis is because they said he was showing signs of autism. They couldn’t completely diagnose him but he showed enough symptoms to get a red flag. They flag any signs as a lookout for the kid. Can’t blame them for being a little overzealous.
2. HIS FACE-VALUE INTERACTION WITH HER
With this being my 1389896th eval I’ve sat through with J & a therapist, I feel like I know the ropes & how everyone will respond. J is stubborn & will only do things HE wants to do. At my first eval, I kept saying “He does that at home though” & that means JACK SHIT to the therapist, which sucks. The only thing they take into account is what he brings to the table for that hour period. Super shitty but it is what it is. We were lucky for his other evals to be in-home so he was a little more comfortable but to be in a brand new space & be asked to do certain things? Yeah, that not happening.
SPEECH THERAPY UPDATE
WE FINALLY STARTED SPEECH THERAPY! Holy Hell, this has been quite a process but now we have it started! I’m not gonna lie, I was expecting the worst & thought I’d hate the therapist BECAUSE it took us so long to get started. Nope, she’s actually one of my favorites & Jackson also likes her! She’s not his favorite of our current 3 but he loves her bag of toys. We’ve had 2 in-home sessions so far & they’ve been pretty similar to his OT sessions but she’s still trying to just build that initial relationship with him. We did end up working with a different Speech Company though - Chatterbox & our therapist is Ally. I’ll be making another entry after ABA starts of images of Jackson with his therapists [I know I work better with people when I can place a name to a face so this is for all those like me reading haha].