At the beginning of this year, I knew very little about ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). After a very long time on the waiting list, Liam finally had his evaluation from the behaviorist in March, Autism was the last thing on my mind.
Sure, I knew “something” was up. I knew he had some sensory issues (needed to be touching his mom, or be squeezed tightly from me, and a resistance to pain), speech and motor skills difficulty (no big deal, even I had those, I turned out alright). But Autism? No way.
As I write this, Liam has been walking around the living room circle without stopping for 15 minutes.
ASD comes in all shapes and sizes. Not one person with ASD is the same as another. “They all experience the world differently”
So what makes Liam Autistic?- (You’re never quite sure what “Liam” you are going to get on a day-to-day basis). Liam is a Level 1 High Functioning also known as Asperger’s Syndrome.
- Repetitive routines and rituals – I have talked about these routines a few times. Deviation can result in…
- Meltdowns and episodes – do to over stimulation or transitions. At times, these are not your usual ‘temper tantrums”. These can last a long time and can also be violent.
- socially and emotionally inappropriate behavior and the inability to interact successfully with peers. Liam has a teacher right by him when he plays with other kids at school. While extremely playful and friendly he can be quite the brute.
- problems with non-verbal communication, including the restricted use of gestures. He just started waving “bye-bye”
- clumsiness and uncoordinated motor movements. I believe he is still getting Occupational Therapy for his fine motor skills.
- Some days he won’t stop babbling and some days I can’t get him to talk at all.
- The constant lining up of blocks, socks, paper.
- No fear of danger.
- Google Stimming. My favorate meme is of a bird saying “I get flappy when i get happy”
I love my boy and I have high hopes for him, but it was very important that we get help as soon as we could. So which brings me back to the title. When Should you get your child checked?
“When something isn’t right
As a parent, especially a new parent, you probably don’t know every detail about child development, which is why there are developmental specialists. We hear most parents of children with autism tell us that their regular pediatrician shrugged off their concerns as “boys are just slower than girls” or “let’s just wait a year and see if he comes around.” Do not accept these answers to your concerns, because if there is something wrong, you can never get back the time you lost. Early intervention is essential.”
- Assess for yourself
Print out a list of child development milestones and track them. This is what led us to get him looked at. It was the regression. He started out so far ahead in everything, he started making the usual words and movements early and then it gradually got less and then stopped. Anytime you see regression you should monitor it closely.
What should you do next?
Follow this link for resources to find a diagnostician and get help.