Mothering.com seems to come up consistently in my google searches when I am researching supplements and treatments for my son, who will be two in August. I have read through lots of your threads and generally love the discussions that go on here, so I thought I'd join. I have a question but I guess I need to give a bit more background first:
I have felt my son was "different" from birth - he rarely made eye contact and didn't smile in response to my smiles. Around a year old, he stopped responding to his name, so I pushed hard for an EI eval (pediatrician was totally against it - we have since changed docs!). They diagnosed him with speech and social delays and we have been getting therapy since he was 15 months old. We love our therapists and they have made a HUGE difference in my son's life as well as mine - awesome support.
We also started working with a naturopathic physician who specializes in children with allergies/ADHD/ASD. We knew our son was allergic to egg and sesame, but he still had lots of bowel issues and was sick constantly. We saw HUGE changes after removing allergens from his diet and starting him on various supplements. The biggest change is that now he almost never gets sick and his bowel issues are completely resolved. I am so grateful for that because he is just so much happier.
He's also extremely verbal now - hundreds of words, making 3-4 word sentences, etc. He still makes infrequent eye contact and prefers to play on his own, but I don't see any real "problems" anymore. I just have worries.
Here is my main question:
I am so torn on getting him officially evaluated for ASD. When we first had the EI eval, they strongly suggested it, and at the time I agreed. There was a 6 month waitlist to be eval'd though and so much changed in that time, but I was encouraged to keep the intake appt so I did.
We took him to our local Children's Hospital Autism clinic for an intake interview and it was a HORRIBLE experience. The nurse practitioner had no info on him before we got there, but seemed to have him diagnosed before even setting eyes on him. She would question me and question me until she got the answer she wanted (for instance, she asked over and over about obsessive/repetitive behaviors, which he has none of, and when I finally "admitted" that he does enjoy looking at the wheels on his toy cars, she triumphantly wrote that down and acted like she had won some sort of prize for "discovering" this issue. He plays with his cars in an appropriate/normal way - who cares if he also likes to see the wheels move?!). I had tons of other issues with the interview (including that when I mentioned how much progress he'd made with speech, she told me "well he can still regress."), but these were just some major ones.
Needless to say, we will not bring him back to that particular clinic for the formal eval. However, this situation made me wonder if it's worth getting him an ASD eval at ALL at this point. Sometimes I worry that people are trying to diagnose him when there's no real need. We're already getting services and I don't want him labeled unnecessarily....do any of you have experience with this or advice? I don't want him to miss out on more services if that's what he needs, but I also don't want him mis-diagnosed by overzealous practitioners. Any advice would be much-appreciated as I am still very new to this and I don't have much support in real life.