Download now 8 Signs Your Child May Have Autism
Written by Maria Davis-Pierre LMHC
If you would have told me that one of the biggest hurdles I would have faced in raising someone with autism was the actually diagnosis I wouldn't have believed you.
Hi everyone so last year I spoke about our families personal experience with autism. Link here.
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned from having a child on the spectrum is that you as the parent will always be their biggest advocate. Autism isn't an issue that is going to take days off and you are going to have to fight for what you know is right for your child because others may not see what you see. When I first began to see the signs that our oldest daughter was experiencing a delay and may be possibly on the Autism Spectrum, I wanted to start getting her in ABA therapy immediately. However what I wasn’t expecting was a lot of the roadblocks to get there and exactly who were the cause of the road blocks.
When I first went to our Pediatrician she felt that I maybe jumping the gun as my daughter was “too young” in the traditional sense and it was felt that she may “grow” out of it. I was hit with the “we don't normally test until age 3”. Here I was mental health therapist and I literally couldn't get the treatment I knew my daughter needed. So we took her to get developmental testing because my thought was at least we can get speech therapy and work on that. I was told by the child psychologist after the testing that they believed my daughter was on the spectrum and that we would need to go to a neurologist to get a official diagnosis. I remember feeling like I was in the twilight zone and there were times where I began to question all that I knew because I thought “How could all these experts be so obvilous “.
These were the only words I could contemplate at the time. Just how long would I have to wait to start treatment for my daughter was all based on when her caretakers were ready to give in. Fortunately after a few appointments (and many expensive genetic test to rule out any other condition) the neurologist diagnosed our daughter with autism. Finally hearing that my daughter got her official diagnosis was a sign of relief because it meant that my initial concerns weren't just those an overprotective mother and we could begin setting up therapy services.
So here we were with a official diagnosis only to discover that the insurance companies didn’t cover a majority of the services needed for children on the spectrum. I remember thinking how blessed we were that we could afford the services such as ABA therapy and Occupational Therapy but it was bitter sweet because I knew that not everyone is able to do so. As we are in the midst of this journey of raising a child on the autism spectrum I implore parents to watch for the signs and not take no when someone even if your favorite care take care attempt to dismiss your fears.
I say all this to say that there will be a lot of barriers and roadblocks in your autism journey but that if you persist and advocate for what you feel is right for your child the rewards happen. Our daughter who currently attends the a school specifically geared toward kids on the spectrum went from being almost non-verbal to now being a 4 year old that can’t stop talking.