Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree
I wanted to thank Linda and Whatsnextmom and StormBride for sharing their stories. I think they have done a huge service by providing very moving testimonies about how a parent can miss or mistake the signs that a child needs help beyond a parent's immediate purview.
I do want to point out that it can go the other way, too. I put ds2 in preschool, even though I was planning to homeschool, for two reasons. First, he was (and still is, although not quite so much) incredibly disruptive and it was very hard to work with dd1, or even answer her questions properly. Secondly, I was beginning to feel that there was something "wrong" (off, non-typical, however you want to phrase it), but the people around me, except for ds1, disagreed with me, and felt it was a parenting/discipline issue. I thought it would be beneficial to put him in preschool and get some feedback from people who were used to working with kids in his age group.
The net result of this was that I became even more uncertain and have put off having him assessed for at least a year, maybe a year and a half, longer than I otherwise would have. Since then, I've made a new friend, who works with children on the autism spectrum, and she says she thinks there's "something" (and believes, because of his age that the diagnosis, for now, will be PPD:NOS). I've discussed his issues at length with an old friend who has a severely autistic daughter (she's now 20, and he's been dealing with these issues for a long time), who says that ASD is the new trendy diagnosis, just like ADHD was when ds1 was little...and that he thinks it sounds as though ds2 is on the spectrum. DS1 is more sure than ever that there's "something wrong" with his little brother. One of the naysayers ("you just need to be more firm with him!") has completely changed her tune. So, now...it's a year or year and a half later, and I'm finally starting to get the ball rolling (his first appointment, with a pediatrician, is next month). I have no idea how long it will take to complete the assessment. And, I have no idea how many months of being hit, choked, kicked, spit on, etc. - and breaking it up when he does these things to his sisters - I may have been spared if I hadn't been lulled into a false sense of complacency - but it wasn't the homeschooling community, in my case.
I definitely don't have all the answers. I think all we can do, as parents, is try to keep our eyes and ears open, and be as honest as we can about our chldren's challenges and competencies...and accept that, as much as it hurts, we are going to screw up and fall on our faces sometimes. Our kids will pay for it when we screw up in these areas...and there's no way around that - it's true in many areas (how much has my ds1 paid for my screw-up in choosing his dad??), and it's a big part of why parenting is such a humbling experience.