When Nicholas was just over 2 years old I took him to a speech path, because as yet he had no speech and language. As i have mentionned in previous posts his principal method of communication was crying and screaming. At the speech path meeting, he cried and screamed throughout, true to form. He seemed terrified at his unfamiliar surrondings, afraid of the doctor. Problem was, this was happening just about everywhere. I remember while sitting across from the doctor, Nick climbed up my body and attempted to wrap himself around my head. It made for an awkward conversation!
The speech pathologist agreed that something was wrong, which was not a surprise to hear, and told us that we should have Nicholas assessed as soon as possible by a qualified developmental psychologist. I made an appointment with a recommended professional in town…..
I attended the assessment. The doctor sat in front of Nick with a book. On each page were 2 or 3 images. The psychologist attempted to assess Nicholas’ word comprehension. She asked Nick – “show me the ball”. Nick looked at her with his head half cocked and a sideways smile; it read, “can’t you see it for yourself?”. So he failed the test. The outcome, an assessment of global developmental delay, and an invoice for $1,200. I was disappointed because I was looking for direction, I wanted to help him.
No, NO! I needed something more. Something that would lend itself to a path of remediation. I needed a plan, a future. I needed to know there was something out there, I needed hope.
I made a second appointment with a pediatrician for another opinion. His opinion: it looks like be autism, but not to worry, kids usually outgrow it. WOW I am no doctor but even I know that autism is a lifetime neurological condition.
I contacted the speech path for help. She gave me the name of a pediatrician who had been working with autistic children in Halton. I made appointment with Dr. K. This assessment, while informal, was promising. The doctor got down on the floor with Nicholas, attempted to play with him, to interact with him. After about 1/2 hour she spoke to me directly – Mrs. O your son is autistic”. Nick was almost 4 at this point. She provided me with contact information for our social services and autism resources.
It was getting late for early intervention. But N would have to wait anyway.