Thursday, December 10, 2015

My Little Cricket’s Delay: Developmental Pediatrician

This road, of trying to help my child has been so incredibly difficult. It’s difficult to understand what is going on. It is difficult to know who to talk too. It is difficult to advocate for my child in a world I do not understand. And it is difficult to know what to do when presented with our options. And when I say options I mean opinions, there are lots of them, and they are conflicting.

A few weeks ago I went to Pittsburgh and I talked to Mrs. Pool Shark. Up until that point I had been floundering. I was in denial. I was listening to the noise around me instead of trusting what I knew deep down. That my son was different. That there was something going on. That My Little Cricket wasn’t responding to his name. He still wasn’t talking well. His eye contact was poor. He would never listen. She helped light a fire under my butt and I threw everything I could at our problem trying to find some answers.

Tuesday and Thursday I went to the UCLA CAN Clinic and Monday and today I am visiting a developmental pediatrician to try and get to the bottom of what is going on with my little boy. Even though I have been an emotional mess, even though going to four days straight of in depth analyzation about my child is very difficult, I am hoping to finally get some answers.

The developmental pediatrician met with us for 5 hours. 2.5 hours on Monday and 2.5 hours today. She ran several tests. She asked tons of questions. And she observed my Little Cricket in a play based environment.

At the end of an incredibly long week. Today at my appointment with the developmental pediatrician I finally heard the words I have been hoping for. Her diagnosis is that he has a global developmental delay. That she is sure that my Little Cricket does not have autism. That my Little Cricket does not a major deficit. That, she is convinced, with 2 years or so of intense therapy he can overcome his delays and be a happy typical functioning child.

I could have cried. Sure it means two years of intense therapy. Sure it means a ton of extra work and struggle. But listening to her tell me what I wanted to hear, that this is not permanent, that we can fix this, that my Little Cricket just needs a little help and a little time, I can totally wrap my head around that. I can work hard toward a goal. An infinite amount of therapy for an infinite amount of years with a severe autism diagnosis would have been so much harder to accept.

I am already so tired but no one has time for exhaustion. I was given a long to do list by the doctor. My Little Cricket is already getting 2 hours a week of Speech Therapy and we were told to continue that. We are in the process of getting 1-2 hours a week of Occupational Therapy, but she wants us to see if we can get in with a specific Occupational Therapist who also does Listening Programs for kids with auditory processing issues. We are also enrolled in Young Minds preschool and I discussed my concerns with sending my son, so young and with his language delays to school. She suggested we interview shadows to attend with him and help him grow into the environment. I had never heard of a shadow before… another thing to research but it sounds way better to send my son to school with a helper than floundering alone on his own. We will also be hiring a floor time expert to work on getting his eye contact stronger and his social skills up.

I also voiced my concerns with my Little Crickets weight. He is a picky eater and although his height is on track his weight has always been low. Both my husband and my brother were tall and skinny as children, but since we are being overly cautious about everything I decided to bring it up. She offered to graph out my Little Cricket’s stats more accurately and once they were graphed she seemed ok with his growth. As his height has increased in percentile his weight has at least stayed on his curve and not dropped. Just to be sure there isn’t an issue we are going to see a child nutritionist to analyze what my Little Cricket is actually eating and make any tweaks she feels necessary.


Since we are leaving in a week for our Christmas vacation I got on the phone immediately. I am hoping to have all of our initial appointments next week so I can get the ball rolling right away in the New Year.

As long as UCLA comes back with a similar diagnosis then we are good to go, but we won’t know that diagnosis until January 8th. I am to get to work on my long list of to-do’s from the doctor and then we are supposed to return to the developmental pediatrician in March. If however UCLA comes back with a plan very different than the developmental pediatrician then I will be stuck between a rock and a hard place I don’t even want to think about that. Since I won’t get the results from UCLA until early January all I can do is work with the one plan I have in front of me.

Baby steps. Deep breaths. It’s time to go snuggle some sleeping babies.

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