Sensory issues don't mean Autism!! right?!
by Devon A.
(Pittsburgh, PA, USA)
My 20 month old son was just evaluated by an o/t and s/t and was found to have a sensory issue and a speech delay. They kept saying he didn't seem autistic, a little shy with full eye contact with strangers but that's not that odd with toddlers. From early on, we knew he had some weird little quirks.
For one, he hated grass. He would scream and cry just standing in it. He would "check" the surface before walking on it, if he decided to walk on it at all. It took us months of work to get him comfortable with it, but still the doctor thought it was nothing to worry about.
After the early intervention case worker spent the afternoon with us, she noticed other things I never even knew were a problem. The pacing and running while watching a show, the constant jumping in his crib or on the couch, the stuffing his mouth full of food and insisting on crunchy foods only, things like that. I had thought up excuses on why each of these things were totally normal but after hearing them and other things all put together, it was hard to deny that he did seem "off."
My husband has had a fear of autism since he found out we were pregnant, because of a family friend's child who isn't very high functioning. So looking up the sensory issue and seeing questions like what spectrum does he fall in got us worried. But after finding another post on here, I'm that much more reassured that he just has the sensory issue and speech delay NOT autism.
He had a sedated hearing today and passed with flying colors so thankfully that's not an issue at the moment, his ear infection days
may be behind us. I should also mention he was NOT a preemie and his birth was totally normal. and with the exception of a few bad ear infections this past fall he has been incredibly healthy, he's never even had a fever.
I know people mean well but once they hear about the issue they jump on the he must be autistic and tell me I need to get a second opinion til I hear autism, four experts have seen him and they all say the same. I had a nurse tell me today, at his hearing test, that he was autistic, (keep in mind he was coming out of full sedation, so not an ideal time to display your "expert" opinion)because a friend of her's child was just like i described him in his records. She also mentioned an article she read where they thought autism was linked to an environmental cause that the mother came into contact while pregnant and the baby didnt have antibodies for... my husband asked her where she got her phd? She got the hint. (love him!!)
I'm trying very hard to understand what this all feels like to him and how this issue affects his speech and communication issues. Its all a little overwhelming to call it a "problem" but when i look back my husband and i have been doing everything the therapist is suggesting all along. So i think a lot of the stress is in the label of a "disorder."
I want to do what's best for my son. I know that he's a gift from God, as all children are, and that we were matched up for a reason. He has already taught me so much, i just want to help him the best i can.