This was the first time we’d seen this Paediatrician, she’s a specialist in Delayed Development, Communication Issues & Autism and you could tell pretty much straight away that she had really done her reading of Archie’s file, with updates & assessments from Speech & Language, the Health Visitor, nursery & the previous paediatrician. She knew so much about his developmental issues & Autistic traits, asking us to expand on certain areas for her, particularly in regards to his communication.
It’s so hard having to focus & discuss all the things he can’t do, it’s hard enough seeing other children his age so much further in their development, talking, playing & doing things for themselves. Actually having to pinpoint the issues really takes it out of you.
My little man is currently around 18-24 months behind in his communication skills, he can’t follow simple instructions, he’s mostly non responsive but he does now have a single word, no! Believe it or not though, this single word has made an incredible difference in our day to day life.
The next step for Archie is to try & build on his speech & communication, he’s already had nine months of speech therapy so things really need to progress if he’s going to attend mainstream school. If he can’t communicate then mainstream just won’t be an option. After observing him the paediatrician is referring up to CLASS, Communication, Lauguage & Autism Spectrum Support. They will be coming into his nursery setting to start working with him & the nursery staff to try & further develop his communication using PECS. I won’t go into detail in this post as I don’t have a great understanding of it at the moment but it’s a picture exchange where he can communicate his needs through pictures.
It wasn’t all negative though as he will be getting the additional support he needs, and we’re very lucky that we’ve got the early intervention. The flip side of this is he’s been moved up the waiting list he is showing severity; Autism isn’t usually picked up until the children are older and displaying more traits. Archie’s showing a high proportion of traits very early, but I just want to focus on the positives. He’s going to be getting the educational support he needs so this is what we’re focussing on at the moment.
At the end of the appointment the paediatrician was satisfied that he meets the criteria for an official MAAT assessment for his Autism Diagnosis although this still can’t happen until he’s three. It’s now just a matter of waiting for the assessment and doing all we can to help Archie develop & grow as our beautiful little boy.