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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

My Little Cricket’s Delay: Canceled the Autism Screening

Two months ago a woman came into my house and after spending 20 minutes with my child suggested that I get him screened for autism. That comment created a spiral of fear, doubt, denial, acceptance, research and crazy sobbing. After doing research and talking with several people I made an appointment at the UCLA CAN clinic to get my son screened. I wanted to know, I wanted him screened by the best. I felt like I had to get the test done no matter the fear or cost.

And then I did a crap ton of research. I met with my pediatrician, I spoke to his preschool art teacher, I spoke to the case worker at the Westside Regional center and I spoke to the geneticist. Everyone seems to think that there is no way my Little Cricket has autism. We all agree he is delayed. His spoken verbal and non-verbal language skills are behind for sure. But for now that seems to be all that anyone is concerned about.

I just don’t see autism in my kid. I read the list of possible signs and he doesn’t hit a good majority of them at all, and then others just don’t seem to fit; other than delayed speech and the fact that he docent turn to you when you call his name all the time. But delayed speech could just be delayed and the not turning when I call his name could be an attention thing because he does turn when I call his name sometimes as well. Autistic kids don’t make eye contact; they don’t like playing with other kids, they have weird ticks and repetitive behavior. My kid has eye contact, he loves other kids, he loves games and peek a boo, he plays pretend and other than a very occasional hand flapping he doesn’t have any ticks.

So today I decided to cancel the screening. If my son still isn’t talking by 3, if he is still having issues, if his issues increase or change in any worrisome way I will just reschedule. So often people and doctors are quick to jump in and demand treatment. I would like to give my son the time to hit his milestones in his own time. I feel better having made this decision. A wait and see approach that will hopefully just correct itself. Speech therapy, which he hasn’t started yet, will work and my son will start talking, communicating and listening better.

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