I'm starting the quest for an evaluation for my DS, who is 21 months old, by going to the family doctor to ask for a referral. I want to make sure I ask the right questions and give her the most pertinent information and not be dismissed as being over-anxious and paranoid. I guess I want to make sure i'm not actually being those thing too!?
I realise that only a skilled professional with experience can diagnose but i just wanted to see if any of you wise knowledgeable mamas could tell me if my concerns sound valid, and also exactly what kind of referral i should ask for? What kind of specialist should i seek? Hopefully my family doctor will have suggestions but my experience is that sometimes its best to know what you want in advance to avoid being brushed off or told to wait and see.
My instincts (and the sheer intensity of his behaviours) tell me that there is somehting going on with my son that is more than the typical toddler issues. He has always been spirited and scores very high on all but one of the categories of 'spiritedness' from the 'raising your spirited child' book. I have looked into SPD and wondered about it because he is so sensory seeking in some ways and highly sensitive in other ways. But lately he has been more challenging than ever and I recently found out that some of the little quirks he has (tiptoe walking/hand leading/not looking where you point/extreme self restricting of diet) are sometimes associated with ASD. I know that many kids have such traits and it doesn't mean they have autism. But he ticks quite a few boxes to varying degrees and yes, i took some of the clinical screenings online and my heart sank.
He has always had terrible sleep, has begun to self limit his diet to the point that he will only eat very few foods (all 'white' dairy and carbs if i didnt relent and give him what he will eat i'm sure he'd starve because when i offer other more wholesome foods he acts like he doesnt believe its food (!), throws it and will. not. eat.it. no matter how hungry), he has strong obsessions with tv and cell phones and remote controls and an amazing talent for operating them, he has incredible balance and strength but no sense of danger or caution and will free fall assuming you will catch him whether you are ready or not. He does make eye contact but its hard to establish and he does not initiate it. He does not look over when you point to things and does not 'show' us things by pointing but he does gesture to what he wants with his hand and occasionally his index finger. He s very single minded and relentless when he wants something, and cannot be distracted or re-directed when he has fixed on somehting he wants.
He has a language delay and has only ever had about 8 (kind of) words (he communicates mostly by 'hand leading' and gesturing. He has had an evaluation by a speech pathologist and has been referred to a program for this delay but the wait list is long. Since that appointment he is using even fewer words. (I am getting him in for some help with a private speech language therapist while we wait).
So there are some areas of concern but because he laughs and hugs and giggles and loves to wrestle and run around with his sister and be tickled and plays peek a boo and pushes trains and cars around and looks at books and greets and waves bye to people I'm really confused. Would these things rule out ASD or can they be part of the spectrum if other autistic traits are present?
Please forgive any misconceptions or ignorance I am just starting down the path of learning about all this and there is so much I dont know!
Anyway any thoughts on my rambling greatly appreciated and to anyone who replies thank you so much for taking the time.