Getting Help II

We went to the developmental paediatrician in September 2006.

Bright Eyes was in fine, typical form. He ran in to the consulting room and found the trains in the toybox right away. After a while he got bored so he started on the switches and buttons in the room. Then he went through all the animals in the animal box.

He yelled loudly and frequently throughout the hour or so we were in there, gradually increasing in intensity and volume. If the doctor wanted to look at him, he yelled and screamed and ran away. I was able to calm him for some of the time by holding him on my knee and singing, but it was clear - this was a child with some serious issues!

Things I told the doctor about:

His scripting language - he could recite songs, books and lines from TV programs off by heart.

His inability to make choices. All the speech therapy books I read said, "Get your child to choose between two things". Ha! If I offered him a choice of anything - red t-shirt and blue t-shirt, juice or water, biscuit or fruit - he would scream loudly and run away.

His inability to answer questions. He was completely floored by any question - even something requiring only a yes or no answer. As for "What's your name?" or "How old are you?" or "What's your favourite toy?"... forget it.

His inability to talk to other people. If any friends and even some family tried to talk to Bright Eyes he would scream or yell, turn away or run away.

As well as: Problems with transitions, picky eating, refusal to wear anything but solid colours and t-shirt material, inability to toilet train, refusal to get into the bath, addiction to music and TV, holding two items in his hands constantly, addiction to Thomas the Tank Engine, extreme sensitivity to other people's anger towards him, apparent inability to feel pain, glassy eyes, inability to follow simple instructions (eg. get your shoes)... la la la la la

After a tiring and noisy hour-long consultation, the doctor said, "What do you think it might be?" I said, "ASD". He said, "I think you're right. With some ADHD added in."

And at the age of three and one month, Bright Eyes had an official diagnosis.