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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What a week it's been here. Last Wednesday was DS's assessment with the developmental paediatrician. An hour before his appointment, his SLP called me to tell me there was a place for him at a preschool. It's a school for kids with language disorders, and the teachers are all SLPs. Now, DS doesn't have any more speech issues, but the basic gist of it was that while it wouldn't be the best peer modelling for him because he'd be ahead of the other children in that regard, it would be a great fit for him in all other areas. Its focus is Kindergarten readiness, which is what he needs the most. They will help him learn to transition and interact with his peers. It's a coveted spot; they only accept 10 kids.

So, we went in to the paediatrician. She saw DS for a little over an hour, talked to us and reviewed our notes and forms. I'll spare you the minute details, but we came away with nothing. She told us he has an awful lot of autistic traits and that if he had come in a year ago, when he had only three words, she would have diagnosed autism. He's too friendly and helpful, she said. However, something in his brain 'isn't firing properly' and she has no idea what it is. She recommended Sunny Hill, a child psychologist and occupational therapy for his clear sensory issues.

We went shopping afterward, came home and went to bed. The next morning, I called this new preschool to leave a message about an intake session. Then I called the SLP. She was pretty livid. She had been on the phone nearly all day the day before, advocating for DS. The preschool looked over his file and said this looks like autism, we won't take him. They have literally just changed their policy to not include kids with autism in their program. They said even if he didn't have the diagnosis, they didn't have the resources to deal with DS. In a special needs preschool. Really. So, SLP called the other preschool that I visited in August. They said they could take him if he had a worker. Well, when SLP asked where DS was on their wait list, they said he wasn't on it. She got pretty angry and told them she expected him to be on there as of August 1st, which was when she first placed him on it.

I cried a little at this point. I pulled him out of his crappy preschool that was letting him do whatever he wants, and I am not feeling very good that nobody will take him. I got off the phone with SLP promising that she was going to keep fighting for him, and that she would get him into the new school.

The new preschool called. Told me they had two spaces open the week before, but that they had already offered them up. W.T.F. One of the children they are unsure will accept. Some problem with the boy's nanny not being able to take him. If they say no, the spot will be DS's. If not, he will still be number one on the list. In the meantime, we will have more time to get a diagnosis. Sure sounds to me like they don't want him, doesn't it?

So, DS has been on the list to go to Sunny Hill since July. They're the best in the province, with a panel of experts and all sorts of resources. The wait time is 4-6 months. So I called them afterward, to see where he was on the list. He's not on it. I have asked my doctor THREE times to refer him, and this was the last straw. I got off the phone and bawled. Then I called the paediatrician from the day before, and left a message with her receptionist to please refer DS to Sunny Hill asap.

That's where we are now. The preschool I am attempting to pull him out of is trying to take my cheque for October since we didn't give them advance, written notice. I am trying to fight this by saying that this is definitely an extenuating circumstance. If we have to pay for October, and DS gets a spot somewhere else, I won't be able to afford the new school and his place will be lost. I have also put him back on the wait list for regular, public preschool. There are currently over 400 kids on it.

It sounds to me like the paediatrician we saw was wrong. It feels wrong, anyway. The more I research the spectrum, the more I know my son is on it somewhere. I also feel that it's fairly old-fashioned to completely rule out that diagnosis because he can speak and share. I don't want to wait anymore. I am tired of fighting this battle. I need some help with my son, now. He is increasingly difficult at home, and I feel him slipping further from us.

We are seeking another opinion right away, and we are going private. If DH's extended care doesn't cover it, I'll pay out-of-pocket, even if I have to do a payment plan. It's between 1200-1500 for a private assessment. If he gets a label, he is entitled to help NOW. Twenty thousand dollars a year in funds for his care. 40 hours of therapies in our home per week. School.

Respite.
 

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I am so sorry. This all sounds so frustrating for you. I hope the second assessment you do gives you more answers, and I hope you find a wonderful school.
 

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My goodness I would be so upset too.

Yes, sounds to me like the doctor doesn't know what autism looks like (how many times I've heard my son is too friendly...from his pediatrician and others who as I said don't know a thing about the autism spectrum).
I hope this sorts out very quickly.
 

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That's so frustrating!
Sunny Hill is great, though I have never dealt with the psych department.
Now, are you on the coast, or in the interior? I have found in a lot of cases that doctors up here in the boonies are quick to send kids to Vancouver when in reality, there are wonderfully qualified professionals in the major centers like Kamloops and Kelowna.
I have found that it will often take a week or more for a Ped's office and SHHC (or BCCH) to actually communicate and get a referral. Your ped may very well have faxed off a referral, but they just haven't processed it yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all the support, everyone.


Throkmorton, I am actually right smack downtown Vancouver. If I were still on the island, it would be different in terms of me seeking help where I was, though. And my GP said she had referred him two months ago, so that's why I was so upset. Hopefully the woman I saw for his assessment has already referred him, since we've lost 2 months on the list now.
 

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I would definitely bring it up with your GP. Wires may have gotten crossed and sometimes it is possible to unofficially "bump" a kid up in these situations.
At least with being smack in downtown, you don't have to stress about the travel. Believe me, that's less than fun.
 
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