I’m patiently (But very anxiously) waiting for the follow-up phone call to review Abbey’s Autism evaluation and go over any diagnosis the therapist may have. It’s now five days away which isn’t that far at all. People tell me not to worry and that she will be okay but I’m not nervous at the thought of an Autism spectrum diagnosis, I’m actually nervous at the thought of no diagnosis or being told I will need to take her to have further evaluations. I’m especially nervous of that because the healthcare system in Florida (Or America alone) can be really annoying. Dealing with insurances, having to waste time going to get a referral etc. It’s a daunting process but eventually we will get to where we want to be! It requires patience. I know of parents that waited years for some sort of diagnosis or help. That would be a total nightmare for me because I possess zero patience. I just want answers and to be pointed in the right direction. The sooner I have a diagnosis the sooner I’ll be able to help her.
Right now I’m just trying not to overthink (Okay, that’s a lie). I did a little research today on ‘Sensory Processing Disorder’. My reason for that was because a few people have mentioned it to me before as a possibility. I was like “Hmmmm, that makes sense actually!” So off I went down a Google rabbit hole. I did a SPD checklist on www.spdstar.org
I went over the checklist that was appropriate for her age. There are a few. You can check them out. I also found this website helpful for people like me who can’t always process generic Google responses that list too many confusing terms and have no personality haha – Sensory Processing Issues in Children | Child Mind Institute
Here’s the checklist I did on spdstar.org
__X__ My child has difficulty being toilet trained.
__X__ My child is overly sensitive to stimulation, overreacts to or does not like touch, noise, smells, etc.– (Noises such as toilet flushing, hair dryer, leaf blower, blender, airplanes flying low make her nervous and she puts her fingers in her ear for comfort).
____ My child is unaware of being touched/bumped unless done with extreme force/intensity.
__X__ My child has difficulty learning and/or avoids performing fine motor tasks such as using crayons and fasteners on clothing – Abbey doesn’t really know how to dress herself. She get’s overwhelmed and has a meltdown if she can’t take her own shoes and socks off. Sometimes She’s fine but other times she get’s really angry and throws down! If she doesn’t understand something it causes outbursts.
__X__ My child seems unsure how to move his/her body in space, is clumsy and awkward – This one’s difficult to diagnose at this age because toddlers do tend to be clumsy and bump into things but I notice she’s doing it a lot more lately.
____ My child has difficulty learning new motor tasks.
__X__ My child is in constant motion – YUP!!!!!
__X__ My child gets in everyone else’s space and/or touches everything around him – LOL YUP
__X__ My child has difficulty making friends (overly aggressive or passive/ withdrawn) –
Yes. If it’s a little girl around her age or a little older and it’s one on one we tend to have a successful little friendship going on but if there are too many children at the playground or it’s a bunch of little boys then 9 times out of 10 I will end up having to drag a screaming toddler away… She get’s really wound up and then withdraws from the group but I can tell she doesn’t want to withdraw because she looks at me and cries (It’s really freakin’ sad). I once took her to a Mommy & Me class and it was crazy how withdrawn she was from the entire thing. She wasn’t interested in making friends or taking part in group activities. All she wanted to do was run around babbling to herself. But again, if she’s just around one or two little girls she’s totally okay.
__X__ My child is intense, demanding or hard to calm and has difficulty with transitions – All of those lol.
__X__ My child has sudden mood changes and temper tantrums that are unexpected – YUP!!! The tantrums often come out of nowhere. It confuses me sometimes when she was happy and then all of a sudden she’s throwing a fit. It often makes me anxious. Like WHAT NOW?
____ My child seems weak, slumps when sitting/standing; prefers sedentary activities – I’m not checking this but she does sit weird at times. I never noticed this before because I wasn’t aware that it was an issue but her speech therapist told me she sits with her legs in a W shape and it’s not good for her. I mean, go Google why a kid shouldn’t sit in a W position. I just wasn’t aware that this was even a thing. Is it a thing? Where have I been?
__X__ It is hard to understand my child’s speech – She’s been going to speech therapy for over a year now and is improving a lot. She still babbles a lot though at 3 years old.
__X__ My child does not seem to understand verbal instructions – Yes and no! Sometimes she doesn’t understand but I know a lot of the time she does and she’s just pretending not to so she doesn’t have to do it (Little bugger). She loves avoiding demands. You can’t really tell her what to do, you have to suggest it. Where I can give my other children a simple demand and they just do it, Abbey will flat out refuse. She’s worse with me than she is with other people. She just took a bottle of my facial cleanser and started pouring it on herself so I asked her to hand it to me. She said “No Mommy” so I demanded she handed it over. Today I wasn’t messing so after the third refusal I raised my voice to make her realize I’m serious and now she’s off in the other room crying and throwing down. If this sounds like your child then you should also look up Pathological Demand Avoidance Disorder.
Sensory processing problems are commonly seen in developmental conditions like autism spectrum disorder.
So yes, this is a possibility. Again, I’m not a professional and I’m not diagnosing her myself. I’m not hopping on the wagon and saying “YES, this is what my kid has!!” Although in the back of my mind I’m acknowledging that it could be. I’m not sure. Maybe I’m reading too much into it. At this point I’ll take a break from the internet. In most cases, especially when you’re sick, most people tell you not to Google things but I think in situations like this where your child’s development is in question it’s good to educate yourself as much as possible (Without obsessing).
I’d also like to mention just for my peace of mind that I’m in no way complaining about Abbey and the way she is. I’m merely documenting my journey towards helping her and in order to move forward you have to acknowledge and discuss the hard moments. She’s a very happy little girl and I love her more than anything.