It’s so easy to walk down to your local pediatrician’s office and belly up to the front counter and get a proper complete developmental testing for issues like autism. No, no, please stop laughing so hard, you might hurt yourself. I know my cat just ran out of the room in terror from my belly laugh.
You see, I am the mom to five kids that have sensory issues, and four of them are also on the autism spectrum.
We lived for years in doctors and therapists waiting rooms. I have filled out packages of papers that make our science textbook look like it’s scrawny. I have also looked into the face of doctors that just shrug at my husband’s and my concerns about our child’s development. You have met them, the doctor that delays you and stands in the way of getting proper care for your child.
Sadly, many pediatricians in the past couple of years have begun to believe that autism is the new black. That it’s some sort of fall back diagnosis that parents are just begging for.
However, I have yet to meet a parent that wants their child to have autism.
Usually, we end up begging for testing and evaluation and that insistence is mistaken for us wanting a label. Some clinics have gone so far as to halt diagnosing autism altogether to give their parents a cool-off period.
Sometimes parents hear advice like this…..
“Autism is incurable. There is no pressure to diagnosis immediately. Let your child be normal for a while more.”
In my opinion, that is ridiculous. The sooner we get our children properly diagnosed and on the path to treatment, the more ‘normal’ they will be. The healthier they will grow up to be.
Early intervention is truly helpful! Early therapy helps. Dietary intervention as soon as possible works wonders. Assisting and guiding social and communication interaction as soon as possible helps us to make real progress more quickly. Secondary issues that come along with autism, such as sensory processing disorder which when dealt with appropriately helps your child’s overall development.
Or parents may hear “I just saw a child that in non-verbal. You shouldn’t be so picky.”
Another parental guilt-trip, “Homeschooling caused this.”
Guilt-tripping the parents doesn’t help anyone. It is not appropriate for a doctor to be sharing or comparing other patient’s lives with your child. No 2 children are the same, even twins. So comparing one against another just leads us to guilt and does not move us towards healing and progress. If you are dealing with a doctor who behaves in this manner, find another doctor, and pronto!
If a parental guilt-trip doesn’t work then sometimes you hear it’s your child’s fault.
“Only your first child truly has autism.” “Your child doesn’t have all the autism symptoms so they don’t have autism.”
Now it’s your child’s fault. That isn’t going to help anyone get on the road to healing.
You have a few options here to get the best care for your child.
1) Get a new doctor
2) Go to specific therapists for evaluations (like an occupational therapist if you see lots of sensory issues)
3) Get an educational evaluation (I prefer private)
4) Go to a Developmental Pediatrician. They are the specialists most able to diagnosis any form of delayed development, behavioral issues, and more.
5) As a homeschooler you don’t need a person to tell you a label or okay you through IEPs.
GO MAKE YOUR CHANGES NOW!
I have good news for you. Autism was not something I ever wanted to happen to my beautiful children. It did. Now it’s time to move forward with testing, evaluation, therapy, and even dietary changes. I have had to argue a few times with professionals along the way. I have had to defend my parental choices a time or two. It has all been worth it!
We have used therapy to help my children regulate their sensory issues. I have changed how we eat to a gluten free, casein free, soy free, even dye free meals. You can fight autism and create a more successful and healthier life!
Heather Laurie creator of SpecialNeedsHomeschooling.com and author of ‘Homeschooling When Learning Isn’t Easy’. Mom of 5 wonderful children all with special needs: mitochondrial disease, autism, learning disabilities to medical issues. As a veteran homeschooler with a passion to help others dealing with special needs she speaks at conventions and writes to support and encourage the special needs homeschooling community.
Be sure to follow along with Coping Skills for Families Living with Autism to receive continued encouragement throughout the month of April as you journey along this special needs path with autism.