Autism Awareness Month. P is for Pediatrician

Day 16

P was hard because there are so many things P can be for us. Passion, Pediasure, potty training, poop, persistence (in a good way). But if this is about awareness, this is critical.

Early conversations over time had with doctors about both A1 and A2: Me: “He’s sitting up already but his hands are still in fists and he can’t grab anything-something doesn’t feel right. ”

Doc: “Wow. He’s just really uncoordinated.”

Me: “He can say way more than I think he understands-so I had a speech therapist look at him and she validated that, what is that?”

Doc: “That’s impossible. That therapist doesn’t know what she’s talking about.”

Me: “Since our move I’ve noticed he doesn’t babble in his crib any more and he only smiles at the microwave and the lamp, but not me.”

Doc: “You just moved…he’s getting used to his environment don’t worry about it (at 8 mos. old).”

I wish I could say that we just had a doctor who was incompetent  (and no, the picture is not of the ACTUAL doctor which would potentially explain how things would be missed), but I hear things just like this in my private practice all the time.

All. The Time.

If your gut feels off about something and you are dismissed by your pediatrician, get a second opinion. Seek out information online about early symptoms of autism. All the research points to early intervention as the key component to long term success with the symptoms of autism. There are programs that are now identifying autism in infants. Lack of eye contact, failure to meet developmental milestones (especially language), lack of responsiveness to their name, repetitive motions such as flicking hands in front of their face are just a few. Even outside of classic symptoms, there are some not so classic ones.

Both as a social worker, but also a mom, if you have a nagging gut feeling….”let’s wait and see if he grows out of it” may waste precious time.