Tuesday, March 22, 2016

My Little Cricket’s Delay: Westside Regional Center Autism Evaluation

I sat down with the doctor who had done my Little Crickets three part assessment today. We talked about her findings, about her shadowing my Little Cricket at school, about his beautiful strengths and the areas we needed to work on. And then she jumped into a diagnosis. She said that observing my Little Cricket he doesn’t come off as fitting the Autism criteria. The doctor said “Even me, with 20 years’ experience diagnosing kids with Autism, I look at Cricket and I kind of scratch my head and wonder’. She said that she was having a hard time diagnosing him, but what sealed the deal for her is when she went back to her desk. She compiled all the information, and on paper my Little Cricket just hits in two many areas for it not to be autism.

And now I have it, two solid diagnosis of ASD. We are now as certain as anyone can be that my Little Cricket has autism. She commended me on catching it so soon, that most kids with ASD aren’t diagnosed until age 4. And that with mild cases like my son most parents don’t get a diagnosis for their child until 7 or 8.

At least now I have a little clarity. Or as much clarity as I can have when my world is a confusing spin of chaos.

I choose to focus on the good. I have a diagnosis. We caught it early. Early intervention is key. I now have something to attack. And I am really really good at this kind of stuff. Organizing data, fighting for what I believe in, managing information and getting the best of the best. I can now move forward with a clearer plan to success. And I am going to kick ass for my son.

After taking in her report and all the information she conveyed to me I moved the conversation to ‘what next’. Her recommendations were to focus on one and one intensive therapy. To continue with a Preschool, OT, Speech, JASPER, Floor time and PT, but that we also should be adding in an ABA therapist. She encouraged me to not put my Little Cricket in a mainstream school with a shadow. She thinks that a special preschool for kids with a developmental delay would be best for the next year. And then possibly when my Little Cricket turns 4 make the switch to a typical preschool if he is ready.

I agreed with most of what she was saying and I am going to think about the whole preschool thing. Out of everything I am trying to decide on right now that seems to be the most difficult thing to find.

One thing that she encouraged, that I decided not to do when I first heard about it, is the Early Child Partial Hospitalization Program at UCLA. When I first heard about the program the thought of putting my kid in an intensive 8-2 therapy environment Monday-Friday was crazy. My Little Cricket was only two, and there was no way I was going to put him in a program, where I could not attend with him, and where I couldn’t have control over the treatment. However, the doctor said that the kids she sees that go into that program, with my Little Cricket’s skills come out much improved. I am going to have to marinate with this information for a few days but I think that trying to get into ECPHP is now back on the docket.

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