About two weeks ago, I took Cadet to see a Developmental Psychologist (standard procedure with all the help Cadet’s been getting). We’ll call her: Dr.S2. Dr. S2 was there to test Cadet on his speech/cognitive/social skills and testing for warning signs for Autism. The meeting was 2 hours long, and during that time she played with Cadet.There was lots of toys, pretend play, and questions aimed at me.
At the end of it, I knew Cadet hadn’t done particularly well on some of the sections. But, after two hours stuck in a small room…with no melt-downs…it was a success in my book.
On Friday, McRuger and I went back for the follow-up. It was about what I suspected: Cadet is delayed in both expressive and receptive speech (17 and 16 months respectively). She also said that as far as she could tell, he was also a little delayed in cognition (20 months). However, she pointed out more than once that his sensory behaviors made it very difficult to complete some sections of the test.
As for the test for autism, she tested using ADOS, which is considered the “gold standard” for autism testing. According to the results, Cadet scored in the “moderate to severe” category for autism “red flags”. But, again, she said that her results might be skewed because of his severe sensory issues. She noted that Cadet’s social skills could use some work, but it’s a great sign that he is social.
None of this came as a shock to us, but it was still hard hearing that something is not right with your child.
Dr. S2 explained that giving a diagnosis to a child Cadet’s age is very tricky, because he’s just so young. In another 2-3 years things will be much more clear. However, we all agreed that the therapies Cadet is getting need to continue, and some of them need to increase. We talked about ABA vs Floortime and the need for Cadet to have a connection with his therapists.
At the end of the meeting, we set up an appointment for a follow-up in 6 months. Basically, no more testing for Cadet (YAY). He’s got the diagnosis of “ASD/SPD” in his file. Now, it’s just a matter of helping him learn and grow as best we can.
So, there we are. The thing I was SOOOO worried about way back when Cadet was born has happened. He’s a “special needs” kid. And, you know what? Cadet is amazing. He’s happy, he’s loving (I got three kisses in Whole Foods today), and he’s learning every moment.
It doesn’t matter what diagnosis they have on file for Cadet, he’s loved immensely.