I don’t even know if that is the right terminology.
“Tested for Autism?”
Should it be, “tested to see if she is on the Autism spectrum” or “evaluated to determine if she has Autism Spectrum Disorder?”
It’s all so new that I don’t even know how to talk about it.
What I can say – unequivocably – is that I’m so relieved that maybe, finally, we will get some tools for helping Anna succeed.
I’ve known for years that Anna is different. She doesn’t connect to other kids the way you would expect.
She has a hard time getting a sentence out without stuttering and she does just about everything in her own time. Which can be frustrating for everyone else. She is stubborn and insists on doing things her way, even when her way isn’t working out.
We’ve celebrated her differences while trying to find the key to helping her get past some of the obvious stumbling blocks.
I mean, it’s great that she thinks in riddles, is so creative, and comes up with solutions to problems that would stump most adults. But if she can’t take direction from a coach or complete class work in school, how is she going to make it? She often gets so lost in her own head that she can’t hear someone speaking directly to her.
We’ve known that we need to find a way for her conform to the rules of her life without squashing her creativity, but if there’s a magic formula for that, we still haven’t found it.
Anna told me last spring that it stresses her out whenever she has to speak to people. She said, “You always tell me to stop and think about what I want to say. But it’s not that I don’t know what I want to say, it just gets stuck and I don’t know how to get it out.” So we promptly began speech therapy through Kaiser, who recommended we sign her up for evaluation through the school. If kids have special needs – verified through a series of evaluations, then the school district is obligated to provide services to help those kids succeed.
The speech evaluation is what led the school specialists, and Anna’s new teacher, to the conclusion that she may be high-functioning autistic.
They approached this subject with us rather hesitantly, as if we’d be offended by the suggestion that she be evaluated for that. But I honestly just felt relief, like someone finally sees what I’ve been seeing since she was 4, and we may finally get some help in dealing with it.
Even just knowing that autism is a possibility has made me more patient with Anna, like it’s given me permission to let her deal with things in a different way because she can’t help it.
While she goes through this evaluation/testing period at school, I’ll be reading up on everything I can. I feel like someone has handed me the end of a piece of yarn, and I have to follow it through a big knot to find the answers.
If you have any information to share, or resources I should check out, or people I should talk to, please let me know.