Of ASD, Therapy, and Picky Eaters…

I can’t recall if I’ve shared it here, or if I posted it someplace else, but Boyo is considered High Risk (depending on which professional you talk to) for Autism due to his early birth and family history. For awhile there we were pretty damn sure that a diagnosis was inevitable because his speech was so delayed, he wasn’t making eye contact, he wasn’t pointing or clapping, among other things. Then we started therapy, and he went in for his ear tubes, and, gradually, everything got better.

Things have improved so much that all of us (My husband and I, his therapists, and doctors) agreed that, while it was a possibility, it was no longer a concern. So we stopped being worried and just focused on getting his behavioral skills and vocabulary up to where it needs to be.

Well, Boyo’s speech is damn near caught up. I’ve lost count of all the words he knows, but he can say most of the alphabet, count, and recognizes the major colors. That’s pretty damn impressive for a kid who really only started seriously talking back in October. And he loves to sing. I swear that 99% of my instagram videos are of him singing some song or another.

His behavioral issues are still there though – I mean, aside from the typical two year old stuff. He also showing some signs of stimming here and there. And while he smiles at other kids, he doesn’t really know how to play with them – unless they’re older than him and take the lead. It’s enough that he might qualify for a free preschool program that the local school district runs, when the school district takes over his therapy in July (provided that the government doesn’t screw things up in the next few months that is…).

Boyo’s therapists are concerned about him falling behind though, since they feel that most school programs are designed to focus on academics than social skills. So they’ve suggested bringing him in to the office for an evaluation for any disorders like SPD or ASD. If there are any signs of this, they can continue to treat him once he turns three.

At first my husband and I were a little leery. I mean, we had just stopped talking about all of this a few months ago, why bring it up again now? But after reflecting on it, we decided to go ahead with the testing because we don’t want Boyo falling through the cracks. So now we’re waiting to hear back about when we can come in and what this might all cost since we won’t be going through insurance (We could, but the waitlist is over a year long).

In the mean time his therapists are coming out four times a week, for two and a half hours at a time to work with him. Sometimes we’re involved. Sometimes we’re too much of a distraction. Right now they’re focusing on trying to get him to stay put and listen to a book for longer than 30 seconds at a time. They’re also trying to get him to doodle with crayons and pens. Unfortunately, he tends to prefer markers and sidewalk chalk. The problem with that is that we just got a new couch, and he has decided that it is the best thing to draw on. Thankfully we usually catch him before he’s able to do any damage, and the markers the therapists bring are washable.

We’ve also been trying to get Boyo to eat more foods, but he has stubbornly decided that if it’s not mac n cheese (specifically, Kraft mac n cheese) spaghettios, chicken mcnuggets, or fries, then it is not worth his time. Sometimes we can get him to eat apples, or a pouch – but only if it’s red or orange colored from a certain brand.

Toddlers, man.

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