J.B’s Child Find Screening Results
The letter came almost seven weeks ago. It was about mid July and I can and will always remember opening that letter. I knew it would change our lives but nothing prepares you to start that process and be ready for that change. You know when you apply for college and the myth was if you got a thick envelope that was a good sign. A thin envelope meant you didn’t get in. At least that how it was when I was applying for college, now you get the information via emails if you choose. Any way the envelope came in the mail about two weeks before our late July appointment at Child Find. We were supposed to go over the results of the screening and then they would determine what services they could offer J.B. This was a very thick envelope, I figured it was just a lot of the same stuff and repeats of what we talked about when we were at the first two sessions. It wasn’t, it was the findings of the Child Find Team. They wanted to give me the opportunity to have the results before our appointment, so I could formulate all my questions ahead of time.
I thumbed through page after page of information not understanding most of the results, there wasn’t any definitive scores and mostly it seemed like notes of what we discussed with the team on our visits. J.B. still had no words, no signs of him recovering the ones he used to have and it seemed like my answer wasn’t in these reports either. Anxiety washed over me so fast, I could barely breathe, the report of the was based on the Autism Spectrum Rating Scale, Social Responsiveness Scale and her observations when we were at the Child Find center. I kept reading the scores trying to figure out if a high number meant he was fine or was it a low number. I went over them several times before finally turning the page. I could have save myself thee hassle of trying to guess what any of it meant because it was all right there in black and white.
According to the parent ratings, we can see that JB is demonstrating significant deficits in his ability to interpret social cues and engage in reciprocal social communication with others. He is not motivated to engage in social interactions and presents with significant levels of stereotyped behaviors and restricted areas of interest at this time. Moderate delays are noted in social awareness and the ability to pick up on social cues as well. Overall, ratings yield a Total T-Score of 86 which falls in the severe range and is strongly associate with a diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Disorder
I wasn’t sure what to think or what to do. I felt guilt was over me like I had done something horribly wrong. I didn’t get on bed rest while I was pregnant with him. His birth story ran through my mind. He was born blue as a blue berry and not breathing. He’s been though so much and he’s fighting and growing and defying odds and now his life book includes Autism. There’ll be endless chapters and stories of his ups and downs and all he does and it dawns on me that this is about John-Benjamin. Nothing I feel is going to change his diagnosis and harping on what I did or didn’t do isn’t helping him either. I don’t know if I did anything wrong but I do know I plan to fight for him as long as I live. I owe it to him to learn all that I can to help him achieve all his goals. All I can do is love him, praise him and encourage him. I am his advocate.
Our letter also included sites and books to read on Autism and the psychologist also recommended we get added to the Autism Registry (I’ll be writing a brief post about that next). Our next meeting with the Child Find team resulted in J.B. being offered speech therapy services and he just started Pre-School. That’s a whole process that I’ll be sharing about often. I hope you follow along with us and if you know someone, or someone you love has Autism, leave me a comment, letting me know some of the things you may have encountered.
- Tears, J.B and Child Find Screening (nickisrandommusings.com)