Hi ladies. My name is Kara, and I've been a knottie/nestie since planning my wedding waaay back in 2002. I've been taking a break from the boards for awhile, but recent events have prompted me to come back and seek out this board in particular.
I have 3 beautiful boys, Jackson, 3.5, Bennett, 1.5, and Owen, 4 mos. Jackson has been in speech therapy since he was about 19m. It was originally due to delayed speech, which was brought up to speed fairly quickly once he started therapy, and he's continued with it due to articulation issues. He was originally receiving ST in our home through the state's early intervention program, and once he turned 3, he moved into the school district's program. At the end of March, his current ST mentioned to me that based purely on his speaking ability, he probably wouldn't qualify for ST anymore; his main problem now was with pragmatic speech, or social speech. He has difficulty holding eye contact, his ability to properly converse is not up to where it should be at his age level, etc. In addition, he's had a number of behavioral and social issues that we've been noticing for about a year now that have not really improved at all, despite trying various strategies. With those two pieces of info in mind, we agreed to go forward with further testing, specifically looking to see if he falls onto the autistic spectrum.
Jackson had his official evaluation in mid-April. Parts of it were very similar to the type of eval he went through before starting speech therapy (different play scenarios that were looking for different types of responses from him, both verbal and non-verbal), but, I'm sure largely due to his age, my involvement was virtually nil this time. I'm fine with that-- to me, it means that their impression of him would be based more on his behaviors and actions and not necessarily colored by my observations or thoughts. I did fill out some questionaires while he was working with the speech-language pathologist and the school psychologist; there was also a behavior specialist and an occupational therapist present, observing the testing. I was not expecting to get any kind of results that day, so I was taken aback when the school psychologist told me that, while they obviously needed to conference and score his results, that she was confident in telling me that he was definitely on the spectrum, albeit a high functioning end of it. They all thought he was a smart, sweet child, and their initial observations focused on how quickly he's made progress in the past (re: speech development) and how they feel confident that getting him into a structured program will really do wonders for him. He qualified to start in their ASD pre-k program, and they luckily had an immediate opening, so he started school the beginning of May. It's been a HUGE adjustment for him, as he's never been in any kind of preschool or daycare setting previously. He's starting to get settled in though (just in time for summer :P), and his teachers are extremely nice and seem to be a good fit for him.
Overall, I go back and forth between feeling optimistic and encouraged and feeling sad, angry, and frustrated. I also feel a hefty amount of guilt resting on my shoulders that we didn't catch this earlier. Rationally, I know that we've taken all the right steps, but I feel like, as his mom, I should have caught on more quickly.
If you managed to read all of that, thanks! I've been lurking on the board for last few weeks, and you all seem like a very friendly, supportive and knowledgeable group. I'm looking forward to getting to know you all better!