HELLO beautiful people...
So as most of you know I am the mother of a child on the autism spectrum and as a result have become a strong autism advocate.
I often get asked questions by parents that have an autistic child, are going through the process of diagnosis or have an inclination that their child may have autism spectrum disorder or a related disorder.
I am here to help anytime... but there is a couple things I just want to put out into the atmosphere.
Firstly, I am not a diagnosing doctor, any of my opinions or 'suggestions' come solely from first hand experience and the countless independent research I undertake on a daily basis.
I truly believe if you have any inclination that your child may be on the autism spectrum that you seek help from qualified professionals who are experienced in diagnosis.
What do I mean by 'qualified professionals'....
I don't know that any GP ( general practitioner ) is qualified to make the call on diagnosis. Even most paediatricians don't like to diagnose.
In our case our GP listened to our concerns and referred us to our paediatrician who I submitted the first initial ASD questionare to. Our paediatrician is a very thorough and well qualified man, he wouldn't even label James. He referred us to a paediatric psychologist.
A paediatric psychologist has the ability to distinguish a diagnosis while taking into consideration, age, development, milestones and intellectual abilities.
They don't just label a child a child, it's a very thorough process.
Our psychologist met with James multiple times before she even did the assessment, she met with me alone ( without James) and I filled out about 500 sheets of paper.
There are TWO things I believe are important...
LABEL & EARLY INTERVENTION
Label: yes it's just a label.
BUT this label allows your child the understanding they deserve.
It opens up support systems, financial help and therapies that your child NEEDS.
Early intervention: the sooner the child is diagnosed the quicker you can start supporting all aspects of their development.
Early intervention is crucial to their development and helping them live in a mainstream world.
Our psychologist told us that the between the ages of 3-7 are crucial. That any child on the spectrum needs support socially, emotionally and physically during this time as it will make the biggest impact on their lives.
I know it's hard.
It's hard to believe that there maybe something wrong with your child.
I GET IT, I have BEEN there.
That constant gut churning feeling, the unknown scares the SHIT out of you, will you and your family be judged?
You ask yourself, 'did I do this to them'....
It's hard to take that first step. It's hard to even swallow the first time the specialists tell you your child has autism. If you have any inclination speak to a professional and seek the supports and intervention while you can make a change. Don't wait until their Year 1 teacher says ' I think he/ she has autism'.
Always go with your mummy gut, it's never ever wrong! It hasn't failed you yet!!!
I am always here for anyone that needs help or wants to talk.
Thank you also for following our journey. James has made great strides since his diagnosis in February 2016 at age 3. He was anxious, non communicative, had many meltdowns a day. We have worked very hard, he has worked damn hard, we made a commitment to early intervention. I never thought we would see a lot of the things we see from him today.
Never give up, never give up HOPE. HOPE is what makes the world go around.
Here for you always,