She called...and emailed me the report. And oh man, it's good news. We have a long road ahead for sure (I'll explain in a bit) but for now (and hopefully forever) autism is off the mother effing table!!!! At least for the next year to eighteen months. If you could only see my enormous and ridiculous grin. It hurts my face. When I talked with her over the phone she indicated that she didn't get "an autism feel" from Mr. Pants. And that in her opinion, Mr Pants has a severe speech and language disorder that is affecting his congnitive development. She acknowledged his sensory issues and believe they are playing into it as well. And his repetitive behaviors put him at risk for OCD. All of those together, she believes, are creating the other behaviors that are presenting concerns similair to kids on the autism spectrum. Two things are keeping him from receiving a diagnosis of autism. Those two things are eye contact and reciprocal social behaviors (ie: he totally shows love, gives love and desires love. And all of those other emotions too like happiness, sadness, anger and excitement). He tested within the spectrum for three of the five catagories but WAY off the spectrum for those two and because they need to be on the spectrum for all five catagories, autism has been ruled out. For now. The year between two and three is critical though and we will need to be mindful of his progress and skill aquisition. We need to be sure he isn't losing skills after he masters them. That would be bad and we would need to have him re-evaulated sooner should that happen. BUT (and it's an enormous BUT), Doc doesn't think that will be an issue with him. She really doesn't. And oh my good gravy it is making me insane with excitement! See my biggest fear for my baby boy was that he would be ostracized by his peers for being unable to connect socially. That he would be treated differently. Cruelly. For something that he could not help or understand. And while I know this could always still happen, I am so effing grateful that it won't be because he can not make friends. And that if it does happen to him, he will be able to communicate his feelings and accept support and help. He doesn't have to be popular or even involved in school activities. That stuff will never matter to me. My wish for him is that he will be able to grow a relationship with his baby sister, make a friend at school and someday find an emotional connection in a partnership with whomever he loves. And oh boy, the tears are flowing as I write this. All signs point to he will be able to (HELL YES!). I'm a happy mess.
So now we have to ramp up the therapy. It's time to kick it up several notches. He is communicating below the first percentile for kids his age. And that's just about as bad as it can get for a kid without autism. We need to help his growing brain make more connections and keep them and place all of our efforts on developing his expressive and receptive communcation. And this doesn't mean just words or speaking English. This means all of the facets of communication. Speaking, relaying ideas, understanding concepts, distinguishing between objects and understanding nuance. We have some work to do! Hopefully as his ability to communicate grows, his stress responses (the OCD stuff: opening & closing, tuning out, patterns etc) will diminish. Fingers crossed. He seems to be dealing very well with his vestibular and other sensory issues (but I totally knew that). Something that stood out is that they believe that his vision is affected somehow. So that's on the list of things to get evaluated now too. Wouldn't I feel like an asshat if he's needed glasses this whole time? Aaaaaand, my brain hurts. It's a lot to take in, because my mama heart stops at "not autism" and swoons. But we have work to do. And I have no doubt that Mr. Pants is up for this challange. And his mama and daddy will be right there cheering him on. But for today and the next few days, I'm just gonna play and snuggle with my boy. Who I am so proud of. And it never mattered what was coming in the report, no amount of anything was gonna change that.
Since we began this journey that lil dude is on, I have received so many contacts and messages of encouragement . So I want to thank everyone who is rooting for my boy. Thank you so so so much. He is a wild little guy who is funny and exceptional. And it makes my heart swoon that others see his light too.