Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Listening To Your Inner Voice
Before Christmas I shared with you that Dave and I took Paige (4) to a Neurologist for an evaluation. The doctor told us he could not give us an exact diagnosis until she was 6 or 7 but he felt she did have a disorder that would place her on the Autistic spectrum. Or, an Autistic Spectrum Disorder.

I was upset and really not sure what to think. I started reading books and doing research. The only real symptom she has of Autism is speech delay. She does talk, but more like a two year old, not a 4 1/2 year old.

The more I read the more I questioned whether Autism really had anything to do with her condition.

Over Christmas my wonderful sister in law, Cheryl, came to visit for a few days. She is a speech therapist and has worked with children just like Paige for many years.

She was outraged by the Neurologists diagnosis. The problem seems to be that neurologists really do not understand speech and language disorders. They understand the brain. That's it. Perhaps some are lucky enough to find a doctor who understands both. Ours definitely did not.

Cheryl really feels that Paige has a language processing disorder such as Apraxia. I have been reading about language disorders and I really feel she is on the right track with this.

We have her scheduled with the school districts psychologist to be tested for various language processing disorders and she will be observing her in the classroom as well.

I am hopeful that we are on the right track and that she will be able to get into a Kindergarten program next year that is specifically geared towards children with language disorders.

So, why am I telling you all this? Studies show that 1 out of 150 children are now diagnosed as Autistic. Doctor's are throwing children from all different categories into this one lump.

I am so thankful to have a family member who has been able to help me navigate this mine field and assist us in getting Paige the help she really needs.

If I had listened to the Neurologist I would be doing nothing until she was 5 or 6. Years wasted that we could of been working on her language delays.

If you have a child that has been given a similar diagnosis and you are really not sure whether the doctor is on the right track or not, listen to your inner voice. Mom's have an uncanny ability to just feel when there kids are on the right track or when perhaps something is just not right.

Do not accept a diagnosis that just doesn't make sense to you. You know your child best. Not the doctor.

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  posted at 6:10 AM  

At 7:38 AM, Blogger The Cheerio Queen said...


you so hit the nail on the head in your post! :) My son has sensory processing disorder and we noticed it first because of his speech. However I have a friend who means well but she keeps insisting I should get him tested for autism with my neurologist when he goes in next week for his seizure issues. When she first brought it up it really set me off because I know a ton about autism and while I know it is the hot topic right now and a lot of kids are showing signs of does not mean that it should be diagnosed like the over diagnosis of ADD. Plus this mother has a child who has had a brain injury and since he has seen every specialist under the sun I think she may feel like it makes her an expert. in my heart and my son's OT opinion he does not have autism. Good for your sister that she was able to bring up something else for you to look at and your right to follow your heart! :)

At 7:52 AM, Anonymous Jessie said...

Follow through with what you believe is true for your daughter. You know, it can't help to NOT label her (a term I'm told about all the time with an Autistic step son and another that had delays that might have been but has come out of them!) until you have at least checked about what the speech problem might be. Autism is, unfortunately, a doctor's fall back diagnosis. "You're kid doesn't talk? Autism." "You're kid is behind here? Autism." When some of them are actually just delays in speech that need a speech therapist. So, yes... make sure you follow through with those exams and such before you follow through with the diagnosis Autism. While Autism does exist, the doctor's push it off so much that you have to kind of double check and do your research, which it sounds like you have done wonderfully. At that age, if she was Autistic you would think there would be more than just a speech delay. So, hopefully it's just that disorder and it can be helped with speech therapy. :)

At 8:22 AM, Blogger Crissybug said...

You are so right. I feel like sometimes the doctors just lump kids together because it is the easiest thing to do. Kids are being diagnosed with Autism, ADD and ADHD left and right. I am so thankful that you were able to find a better direction for your daughter. I wish you the best of luck.

At 10:08 AM, Blogger Heidi @ GGIP said...

Wow. Your statistic shows what I have thought I was observing--that autism is really diagnosed a lot. I'm glad you have a SIL who will be able to help you. I hope you can find a good kindergarten program.

At 4:28 PM, Blogger LISA said...

I'm glad your sister had insight to the problem. Too many doctors wanna push the meds for things that are the "hot" diagnosis going around.You are around her all the time,so do what you feel is right.

At 9:55 AM, Blogger Michelle said...

Good for you for listening. You are your child's advocate. Who else has her best interest at heart?

At 10:00 AM, Blogger Stacey said...

Way to go! It's great that you have the support of family who are trained and see what you do!
Great listening to your mother's heart!
My son has developmental delays, that look similiar to Autism but we try to avoid giving his delays a label/name and instead look at it as -- he is just left handed in the way he acts-- not wrong,just different!
The sooner you get help for anything, I think-- the better!

At 10:55 AM, Blogger Melanie said...

Sounds like you may be on to something. Hoping she can get the therapy that will help her the best.

At 9:54 PM, Blogger Brenda said...

We are facing an neurologist appointment with our daughter in about 2 weeks. I will keep in mind what you said--although ours is a slightly different reason for visiting.

Did they do any medical tests? What kind? (You can e-mail me!)Thanks!


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I am a spontaneous, out going, daughter of the King, who is married to a wonderful guy who is a quiet, shy, non-spontaneous, scientist who also loves the Lord. Truly a match made in heaven! We fight and argue, love and laugh, every single day. I am passionate about orphan care and love to tell our story to anyone who will listen. This blog is dedicated to that journey.

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