I can’t believe Melanie’s developmental pediatrician appointment is just 2 weeks away, December 1st. I worked so hard to get this appointment starting in April. I waited 2 months to just get the paperwork, then I filled out TONS of paperwork, sending ALL the paperwork back in, waiting for a call about the appointment then learning about the LONG waiting list, and I called once a month checking with the scheduler to see where we were on the waiting list to be called for an appointment. Every time I saw our pediatrician she would ask me if we had an appointment yet. Sigh…so frustrating.

This process really tested my patience. I mean, can you imagine how many children these doctors see each day to test if they are autistic or not. Because as you know, you will never meet the same autistic child. Is the awareness getting out and everyone is getting their child checked? I read articles about autism everyday. Some people think there is an autism epidemic happening because of the HUGE  increase numbers of children being diagnosed in the past 5 to 10 years. I don’t know, but what I do know is how hard it is to just get a simple appointment made.

Now my focus has shifted to “oh no, the appointment will be here before I know it” and my nerves has set in. Right now, I’m so nervous my stomach is in knots and it gets worst each day as the appointment approaches. I mean it not like I have never been through this before. I think it is more along the line I just need to know if Melanie is autistic or not.

If Melanie gets diagnosed nothing will change. She will still be the same Melanie the day before she would be diagnosed as the day after. I guess I’m just nervous about hearing the words again, “your child is autistic.” Last time I heard those words it was when I picked Michaela up from the evaluation at the school. The school psychologist came over to me and said, “this is unofficial until our next appointment but she is autistic.” It caught me off guard and felt liked someone punched me in the stomach for a few minutes. The school psychologist kept going on talking about something but I had no idea what it was because it took me a while before I could refocus and listen again. I remember looking over at Michaela playing on the playground thinking, “OK now what?” She was so happy running around the playground. Then later I felt relief and validated knowing we have finally figured out what was going on with Michaela developmentally. On the way home from the evaluation to tell Chris I realized we are going to be starting a new journey.

Now its Melanie’s turn. The process we are taking with Melanie is different than what we did with Michaela. I think it is because we are more aware and able to see the signs sooner than we did with Michaela. We started Melanie in First Steps when she was 16 months old and Michaela didn’t start with First Steps until a month before she turned 2 years old. Plus the process of diagnosing has changed a little. I do have the same feelings with Melanie as I did with Michaela, “is she autistic or not.” I keep going over the autism criteria (the current DSM IV Criteria for Autism and the new one coming out in 2013 Proposed Revision APA DSM-5) to see if it fits or not for Melanie. Going to the developmental pediatrician, I guess is more formal and maybe that is why I’m more nervous about this appointment and not knowing what to expect. The appointment will take at least 2 hours. Melanie will be seen by the psychologist first then the developmental pediatrician. I don’t know if we will come out with a diagnosis or not, I think that is another reason why I am nervous. If Melanie does get diagnosed with autism she will get more support with therapy. Plus Melanie would get an IEP sooner than Michaela did. Then Melanie would be accepted into the school district support without having to go through there evaluation process and her therapy support would continue instead of be broken up like what happened with Michaela.

Supporting parents with autistic children

Supporting parents with autistic children

A good thing about this process is I already have my support system in place. When Michaela was diagnosed it wasn’t and I had to develop the support. Today, I have a very broad support system in place. I have my family support. Mom and Dad are our biggest supporters!  I have our church members and several small group supporters within the church. My online support is amazing! I have several online groups I go to in getting support from people around the country and the world. Then I have this blog!! Which is the best therapeutic support. I tell everyone I know, you seriously need to write it all down and it truly helps you feel better getting your feelings out. I have a hard time telling people how I truly feel and I hate to get emotional, so blogging is my best outlet! 🙂

Thank you for your support! It is greatly appreciated!