My son is three and a half years old. We have him in a preschool that specializes in children with delays, which is great, he started in Sept. I had him evaluated by a developmental pediatrician in August. They said, basically, that at this point in history they aren't positive he is on the spectrum, but he should come back in 6 months after being immersed in his preschool program to see if things have changed. He doesn't speak very much, although he communicates his needs well with single words. His receptive language skills are pretty good. At home, he has always imitated us, his parents all the time. At school he sometimes imitates other kids, thats a new thing, and a good thing The speech pathologist in his program said he has "potential" (I would hope so, he is three!) and the most concerning thing is his social communication skills, he has his OWN agenda while playing in the preschool He is participating in circle time very well - also a new skill. Yesterday we had friends over for dinner, some kids sat on the couch and watched tV, we ate dinner, he was in the backyard by himself throwing leaves. One of the little three year old girls eventually went to him and they played together, throwing leaves at each other. Then he seemed to warm up and came to the table and sat on our laps and showed us his globle. He is obsessed with globes, the alphabet, numbers, Thomas the train.... He is difficult, crying when things don't go his way. His eye contact is only so so. His gross and fine motor skills are great I stay up rolling the Autism word over in my mind, thinking about his behaviour. I am no longer afraid of a diagnosis, I just wich we weren't in a holding pattern Also, the diagnosis won't change him. Sometimes I think he will be like this forever (unable to speak, tantums, uninterested in doing things with me) I need some perspective, my husband won't talk about it --
I don't know if his bad behavior is specific to his delays - or also the experience of being three
Mom to Maximilian, born April 16, 2010 and Niah, born April 21, 2013
It sounds like you are doing everything you can, and that you are on the path to figuring it all out regarding the doctor and specialized preschool. I totally understand wanting to know NOW, it is hard to wait things out. On the plus side, is sounds like he is doing well and there are no urgent issues, there is even improvement, that is GREAT!
From what you wrote, if he is indeed on the spectrum, it seems like he is and/or will be high functioning; he does speak, he will interact, he is participating in school. Tantrums are very normal at that age, so not sure if his are extreme or not. Also hard to say if doing his own thing is normal or not; some kids just aren't that social and do want to do their own thing. I'm assuming that because so much of his behavior could be normal, is why the doctor wants to wait another six months.
I wish I could speed things up and get you a magic answer, just take solace in the fact that no matter what, he is an amazing, loving kid and will be fine, and you are an amazing mama!
"Have faith in yourself and in the direction you have chosen." Ralph Marston
I don't really have much practical advice for you but my heart goes out to you. That's tough! Made worse by the fact that your husband has shut down about this. That creates a whole new problem. I'm so sorry. I guess it's one of those situations, like after you've had tests at the doctor and you have to sit there waiting for a week, wringing your hands thinking you may have XYZ disease. Not easy. But remember this will pass and the time will go by and you will have a much clearer picture of what is going on in 6 months time. It seems like a long time now but it's not actually. Hard as it is, try to just carry on as usual and find ways not to follow your worrisome thoughts when they pop up and try to carry you away. You seem to have a pretty positive attitude and not a lot of fear around the diagnosis, so good for you! That is already many steps ahead of most parents in your situation.
I recommend posting this in the Special Needs Parenting forum here: http://www.mothering.com/community/f/157/special-needs-parenting You're more likely to get advice from parents who have been there and have a better understanding of Autism.
Best of luck mama!
Mama since 2010
Multicultural living in Europe