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Where To Get That Diagnosis
Hi Friends… We’re Back!!!
In continuation of our autism journey I wanted to talk about getting the diagnosis and the help we needed. I have been asked by several parents (who suspect their child might be on the spectrum)…what recommendations we could give or steps they should be taking to get their child diagnosed.
There can be many ways to go about getting a diagnosis. I am going to share our experiences in dealing with both of my girls in their infant and toddler stages. They both received an autism diagnosis…but, we went about it in completely different ways. My hope is that this post will provide helpful information to those who may be seeking answers for their child.
School Age Kids
The first and easiest with School Aged Children is through the school system. If you (the parent) or your childs teacher suspects that your child may need additional help, you can request testing with school psychologist. This will start your child working with the proper in-school specialists ie: speech therapist, Occupational therapist, and behavioral therapist etc.
The School will not give you an “official medical diagnosis” It will categorize your child at the “School Level” where they can implement the right services for your child. This starts the IEP process or Individual Education Plan, that provides the accommodations he/she needs. You might be wondering what is “School level” diagnosis. Here in the state of NM (could be different in other states) an official Medical ASD diagnosis does not transfer equally to the school setting. Meaning, even though you have a medical diagnosis the school will conduct their own testing to determine the students individual needs. Lets just say that your child has tested with the school and is already receiving services, but you still want an official medical diagnosis.
This can be done trough an independently owned and operated Autism Center or through your States Development & Disability center. For the most part, our medical insurance covered both girls diagnosis visits. Now keep in mind this is a state-run establishment that unfortunately had a 10 month waiting list for both of my children. If you want to go the fast track you can always check with the independently owned Autism Centers, you may incur some out-of-pocket expenses but will have peace of mind a lot sooner!!
If you notice behavioral differences with your little love, the quickest and easiest way is to pay a visit to your Childs pediatrician. Your pediatrician will take into consideration the differences you have noticed and will recommend a consultation with an “Early Intervention” Service Group. These groups are funded by the state and will work with your insurance, we did not incur any out-of-pocket expenses with them!!
They will start with sending a team of Early Intervention professionals to your home (Where your child is most comfortable 😀). They will engage your little one in a series of age appropriate play, that helps access what the specific needs are. And let me tell you…these individuals, are nothing short of amazing!!! They are so patient and sweet, they eventually become part of your family! After the initial assessment everyone (parents and therapists) will determine what areas your child may be lacking in and the appropriate action to take.
The fun begins when they start working with your child, all the therapy is done through play!! You’ll find that when these wonderful people make their weekly appearances at your home, it’s fun for the whole family. They will teach you tricks on working with your child at home, and making your daily routines run smoother. You learn so much about your child in the process!
We have been so fortunate to work with such amazing people along the way. I credit most of my girls successes to them! I have learned that early intervention is key to the success of children on the Autism Spectrum, My girls are definitely living proof! I don’t believe that we would be in the place we are today, if it wasn’t for the amazing therapists we have had. Our girls have come such a long way, the sky is the limit for these amazing children!!!