We got to the psychologist’s office about fifteen minutes early on Thursday afternoon. Elizabeth was happy because I’d told her she was going to get to play with toys. The waiting room was a challenge because she was not interested in sitting down or waiting for Dr. C but at least she didn’t get hysterical.
I was very happy when the doctor came out to get us. She led us to a small room and there were toys on the floor and a little table. Elizabeth immediately showed interest in a popping toy on the table. Press, press, press…flip, push, turn…press, press, press. Over and over she played with this toy. Dr. C sat down across from her after a bit and made a silly, surprised sound relating to the toy she was playing with; she smiled at her but went back to playing. Press, press, press…flip, push, turn…press, press, press. Dr. C realized that she was going to have to put it away if she was going to get anywhere with the rest of the evaluation.
So, there were many different activities and things the psychologist did to look at responses from Elizabeth. Unfortunately, she didn’t do most of them. They were primarily social responses and initiatives that simply don’t come from my girl. Dr. C said that if there isn’t enough information collected from this type of evaluation, a second one can be needed but that certainly wasn’t the case with us. She also said that a certain amount of time is allotted for each activity and if the child is engaging socially, the time can be filled but Elizabeth wasn’t interested so the evaluation was actually faster than another child might experience.
When we were leaving, she said it would be 2-3 weeks before all the paperwork was processed and the final diagnosis was complete (it’s a five level diagnosis these days) but that yes, unofficially she has autism. She may not know the level yet but she knows she has ASD. She encouraged me to start pursuing speech and music therapy as well as ABA for her – not to wait for the official documentation.
I’m not going to get into my emotions on this whole thing quite yet as I’m still processing but it has been challenging.