An Autism Diagnosis: What it Does and Doesn't Mean for Us

1:27 PM

Quick update: if you've spoken to either my husband or myself at all in the past 7 months, you've likely heard us complain that it's taking an excruciating amount of time to get into the local Center for Disabilities to get TJ tested for autism. The wait has seemed absolutely endless.

Professionals are always stressing early intervention, yet here we've spent almost a third of her life waiting. to be seen. Especially frustrating is knowing how much their brains develop in the first three years, and while we are doing what we can, we know there is always more that can be done by people that help autistic children for a living.

Originally, we thought we couldn't start getting her any sort of specialized therapy until we had a doctor's diagnosis in hand. Luckily, we've started to see that it really doesn't mean much at all; that we are doing all that can be done regardless of a piece of paper stating what we've observed is true.

The result of her latest appointment a couple weeks ago is that she is probably autistic, and enough behind in speech and language development so a prescription for therapy was attained. That was huge for us, as our insurance wouldn't cover it without a doctor's recommendation.

Targeted speech therapy is now officially on the roster for April. UPDATE: At the first appointment, they told us she's on a wait list and it could be AUGUST before she can start speech therapy. The appointment to receive an actual diagnosis is scheduled for June. But now, there's really not a huge rush anymore. We know she'll be able to get into early preschool. As she starts to make progress, things will evolve and point us which way to go next; that it's one step at a time.

So the next big step is getting her communication to the next level. That will entail weekly, 80-mile round trips to the next town over for the speech therapy, but it will all be worth it if she makes even a little bit of headway. We just really want this little girl to be able to tell us that she loves us as much as we love her.

What having an autism diagnosis means at this point is knowing the name of what is affecting her. But it doesn't mean anything else right now, other than we can move on to the next step of the process. I'm at least glad for that much, and we will take everything else as it comes.

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