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Those who know me here already know our Son has Autism. He is 9 1/2 years and we started all this when he was 2 years old. (official DX when he was 5) With being so used to him we've made adjustments for the whole family and in the process totally missed the issues our younger daughter was having. While it was very apparent she had speech issues and was diagnosed as having severe speech delays, we didn't think anything else was out of the norm. She started speech therapy at 3 years. She had a lot of the same speech nuances as our son and we figured it was because they are so close. (she also has a slight tongue tie, nothing extreme though) After being in school her speech was still slow to improve and the nuances didn't improve much. Her pronunciation, after 4 years, is actually pretty good now. She does string it all together though and then starts dropping letters, words and combines words. They are calling it "cluttering". She also has a very monotone speech, nothing there for inflection.<br><br>
So with the above speech issues she already had an IEP. Last year we started seeing her falling way behind in reading, we assumed it was related to her speech. This year her teacher started commenting on her total lack of attention span and other in-class issues. The same teacher had our son as well, great teacher. We decided it was time for an eval. We all thought it would be ADHD and some comprehension issues with the reading, but we asked for a full eval to rule everything out. After hours of observation, reports from her teachers and us they came back with a diagnosis of Educational Autism Spectrum Disorder. Reading the report was eye opening, the school psychologist saw so much that we had totally over looked. She saw how her peer interactions were one sided, how she struggled socially and her frustrations. (among a ton of other stuff) While on paper with JUST the GARS and GADS testing didn't come up probable, it was obvious that with hands on observation that she fell on the spectrum. Her teachers said they see her brother in her a lot with the behaviors too, but that if it was simply her being influenced by him that after 3 years of being in school she would have picked up social cues by now. She doesn't even recognize facial expressions on others, I hadn't noticed that until they pointed it out! We did know she felt no empathy for others and can't relate, if someone is hurt she shrugs her shoulders, it simply doesn't affect her. Of course I feel like a horrible parent for not seeing it earlier but I know its not my fault, and she already has a head start because we have already been implementing everything we learned with our son for the whole household.<br><br>
We also requested a medical evaluation but since the written test (which isn't accurate for girls anyways) wasn't strong enough the psychologist that did the "long" eval didn't do ANY of the Autism stuff. The long test was supposed to take at least 2 hours, it only took an hour. During the meeting after she admitted that she couldn't understand anything our daughter said so didn't know whether or not she was answering questions appropriately. Thus, she couldn't conclude any diagnosis at this time. She did recommend all the same interventions that the school suggested and are implementing, so that is good. She said that once she has been getting services from the school for awhile that we can revisit and she can take reports from all the involved teachers and professionals (our daughter will be participating in a social group who has a professional from this facility leading it) and with that in hand we'd probably get a more accurate medical diagnosis that would match the school's. Its frustrating, we do trust the school's because those involved have known her since she was a baby attending meetings in a sling, so they've seen her develop from teeny tiny and know our family. So for now we are just going with the school diagnosis and hopefully will have a medical diagnosis to back it up in the future. The medical perspective right now that something is wrong, she needs intervention but no name for it at this time other than a generalize learning disability. Should also note that her IQ came back normal, her comprehension when read to her is great, but her own reading comprehension and fluency scored low.<br><br>
Anyways, so it shouldn't be a surprise for us, but it was. We just weren't expecting it. We are happy that we now know what it is and can get her services and help at school though and they are behind us %100 though. Her teacher noticed something at the beginning of the year and didn't even wait for an updated IEP or the evals, he started making changes for her to help right away. Love Love Love our school.<br><br>
My point is, all the parents who say "How did I not know?" and blame themselves, don't! If we've been in this world for YEARS and I have a background in early childhood development and STILL missed it in one of our kids, no one else should ever feel bad about missing it! lol.<br><br>
So that's our update for now.
 

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Kristine,<br><img alt="hug.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/hug.gif"><br>
As you know, my oldest is on the spectfum. His struggles have always been out there and very easy to identify. But my middle son was different. He didn't have the behavior issues or social issues. He seemed to struggle with somethings in school, but not others. Finally, last year, when he was crying practically everyday about school, we had him evaluated. He is gifted with a learning disability. I felt so horrible that we didn't pick up on it sooner because we were always so focused on ds1, and here ds2 was having struggles of his own. He is also going to be tested for attention issues. So, I think it's so hard to tell when children are so different from one another and you are more accostumed to identifying the issues of one child, that you may not even recognise those of another! I'm trying to deal with the guilt of having waited so long for an eval. I know logically that it is what it is, but wow, that mama guilt! <img alt="lol.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/lol.gif">
 
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