Autism Spectrum


Alyssa had her followup to her well child visit yesterday.  We saw a pediatrician from Ukiah at Tribal Health.  She took notes of Alyssa’s behaviors and asked questions.  She told me that I would need to call the local school district and ask for an autism assessment.  She believes that Alyssa is on the “autism spectrum”, but obviously not autistic because of her social skills and interaction.  She said that she will probably need occupational therapy and speech therapy because her speech seems to be behind.  The dr. said she could only understand about 75% of what Alyssa said (whereas, I can understand everything of course!) and Alyssa speaks in the 3rd person and uses the wrong pronouns sometimes.  She said that the school district may try to put me off because they are not very responsive and gave me information to contact UCSF and have her assessed there if I didn’t get anywhere with the school district.  She also said she’d provide any referrals, etc. that we needed.  She said that Alyssa’s issues are very minor and are probably barely on the charts – but that she needs to be fully assessed to find out where she is.

Today a nurse called and said that Dr. Whelan did some research and decided that I should contact a local organization instead of starting with the school district.  The group is called Redwood Coast Regional Center and they will perform all of the assessments and order any necessary therapy through the school district.  I called and spoke with a very nice woman who took all of my information for the intake form over the phone (and it wasn’t even her job!)  She said that we are definitely starting in the right place.  They are a non-profit with a contract with the state, so it won’t cost us anything.  And I won’t have to fight with the school district.  YAY.

Apparently people think I should be upset over this.  My mom and Earl both freaked at first.  But really – it is just a way to try to help Alyssa drop these weird behaviors that she has and improve her speech.  Nothing else.  She’s just “Alyssa”.  She’s not autistic.  She obviously has sensory issues, but that can be addressed very easily.  I’m not worrying about it.  In fact, I am relieved to have a course of action!  Alyssa has been improving some on her own (and with our urging), so I’m sure with therapy she’ll work through these things quickly.  I’m looking forward to the day that I don’t have to worry about a waitress wiping down a table across from us in a restaurant and being able to vacuum my rugs without my child flipping out.  YAY!



4 thoughts on “Autism Spectrum

  1. I have twins with autism and another son on the spectrum. If you need anything or have any questions, let me know. I also have another blog here that deals only with autism/disabilities.

    You have the right attitude! And the pictures on your site are gorgeous. Your children are absolutely beautiful. What a blessed Mommy you are!

  2. I think you’re doing the right thing. No one needs to get upset over a minor autism diagnosis. 🙂 Hopefully, you’ll learn ways of dealing with Alyssa’s problems so that she is able to work through them. You’ll be able to look at an issue she’s having and say, “Hey, that’s not some strange unknown. That’s just her slight autism. I’ve learned how to help her with that.”

  3. You have the right attitude about your dd!!!! When our dd was diagnosed as Autistic disorder (with 5 other diagnoses) we were relieved. My in laws and parents freaked out over it. My dh and I didn’t. We were relieved!!! WE weren’t bad parents. We just had a child with major problems. We were very happy about it. I know people were very puzzled with our reactions. We would have preferred her to be normal but why even go that road when it causes heartache. So we just pressed on with our life. Yes, it changed everything. It changed for the better for all of us.

    We changed churches (stayed within the sister churches though) to the one that has a special needs program as well as a better spiritual program. My dd thrived at that church and she is loved by all there.
    We changed the way we looked at homeschooling and life. If she is having a bad day we drop school that day and do something else (my boys continue on with their school). If she can’t go to the store with us then she stays home with my mom. We limit our trips out because of her. It really has improved on my errands time and planning for the better.

    Changes are good. We ripped our carpets out not because of her but because of all of us having severe allergies to carpet. So now she doesn’t have to deal with sweeping and we do not have to deal with allergeries.

    I can name more changes. I think you get the point. Yes, my dd is my dd and she is being herself when does these autistic things. That is part of her.

    Just wanted to say Hi and keep up the good attitude!! No need to fret. Just keep pressing on.


  4. Thank you all for your thoughts.

    We scheduled her assessments today. Monday, January 23rd at 1:30pm. They said it will take 3+ hours. EEK.

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