After several eligibility meetings and evaluations from ITC, they concluded that Tucker qualified for in-home speech therapy until the age of three (at that time, the public schools take over, which he also qualified for). While jumping the hurdles to get our son “in the system,” we made an appointment with a developmental pediatrician (the real doctor) for further analysis. Basically, we wanted to know if he has autism. He does exhibit a few of the symptoms on the gigantic autism spectrum, most pronounced being his delay in using language, but the most concerning ones (lack of affection, seizures, digestive issues and poor immune systems) do not apply to him. Here is the diagnosis we received:
Developmental Assessment: Tucker made very good eye contact with his parents. Eye contact with the examiner was diminished. However, Tucker’s attention span was diminished in general.
Impressions: Tucker is a delightful 2-9/12-year-old boy with developmental delays including delayed speech and language skills and possibly mildly delayed social skills.
So, not autism. This particular doctor believes that autism is over-diagnosed these days, a bit like ADHD was in the 90’s and plain old hyperactivity in the 70’s. We go back in November for a follow-up exam. My hope is that now that Tucker’s in school, and working so hard to improve his language, that the doctor will see marked improvement from what will then be six months ago. Wish us luck!
Were you looking for the story behind why we began to seek help for Tucker? If so, a lot of it can be found here.