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D*mn, I wish I had been wrong.
Oh boy can I identify with that feeling!
My son received a PDD-NOS diagnosis this past summer (he was 27/28 months).
My son, like yours, points things out to us, has pretend play and is a fun loving, affectionate boy (hugs his brother, plays with us and his brother, kisses us, likes to be funny for us, etc.). I was told when he was younger that I should quit worrying because he was too social....well, they were wrong (oh I wish they were right). Like your son also he did have signs though and some of those have become more pronounced as he has gotten older. And I don't have any doubt now that he is indeed on the autism spectrum. The thing is, it is a spectrum--some kids are more affected than others and in different ways in various areas. And pdd-nos by it's nature means a child fits the criteria in some areas but not others. I've been told my son may actually end up with an aspergers diagnosis when he is 5 or 6 (or maybe still be pdd-nos) but they can't assess aspergers particularly until older while they can still say at a young age the child is on the spectrum.
The age at which someone will formally diagnose varies. Some specialized places will do it very young (younger than your son). Most people are more comfortable after the age of two but some still don't want to see higher functioning kids at that age.
For me, when I was first told my son seemed to have an autism spectrum (no diagnosis) I decided to take action as if he were so I started interventions with him. I can share what when you are ready if you are interested but I know right now you are overwhelmed. Autism isn't hopeless at all; I do think early intervention (the right ones for that child) can make all the difference. It does change the journey for your family but remember it doesn't change who your son is. He is still the same beautiful boy as he was before you got this news. In our case, the actual diagnosis was a relief for me. I was spending too much time and energy worrying about what might be wrong (autism or something else) and hoping not (it was becoming more and more obvious the closer we got to two that he'll grow out of it wasn't probably an option). Once we knew for sure what we were dealing with I could put that energy into helping him reach his best potential. I can't describe but the actual formal diagnosis was sad but a relief in a way. As far as spoiling I don't know! I think that feeling of wanting to just hold them, hide them, protect them comes and goes as you face things together. My emotions fluctuate. Andrew has a twin brother. I don't think I treat Andrew preferentially over all though I did feel that way at first now that I think about it.

Please feel free to pm or email me if you want to share or if I can help in any way.
 

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I'm glad you are feeling better. It is devastating at first. You adjust (and the feelings and all do come and go or at least they did with me--everything is a process).
You asked about therapy. When my son qualifies for a therapy (we have at different times had speech, physical, occupational, developmental) it is for an hour. I would question them as to why only 30 minutes (perhaps it is availability?). Two 30 minute sessions might be better for some kids if that is possible. Many PDD-NOS kids in addition to speech might receive occupational therapy (for sensory and fine motor delays). Some need others...it really depends on the child (my son has muscle tone issues related as well so from time to time has needed PT). My son isn't benefiting much anymore from his OT or speech/developmental though he still receives them (1 hour each each week) and we do riding therapy too (that I do think he is still benefiting from) for 30 minutes each week. I am doing an autism therapy with him that is helping him a lot so that is his main therapy right now--time spent each week varies.
 
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