I called the pediatrician, who we had just seen at Trinity’s 2-year wellness check, and asked what I should do. He had me schedule an immediate appointment to come in and discuss my concerns. As we were talking I just felt pissed and mad at the world. I had been to the doctor’s office with Trinity 7 or 8 times already and I was led to believe that everything was fine. So when I called I said something like “Hi I was just there a couple weeks ago and everything was fine, but my family thinks something is wrong with my daughter. Should she be talking yet?!” It made me angry and made me feel like I was already failing her.
The doctor referred us to a pediatric neurologist for an MRI and an EEG. While we were there they asked if it appeared that she was having seizures and I wasn’t sure. She was in her own world a lot of times and was “zoned out”. The EEG was awful. We brought her in sleep deprived and then they mildly sedated her, only there is no way to get anything in Trin’s mouth without a syringe AND that doesn’t mean it will stay in there. They tried diluting the anesthesia with chocolate syrup and she still hated it. It was over an hour of her thrashing and us trying until she finally fell asleep. They put sensors all over her head and I remember just looking at her and thinking “it was just a week ago I thought she was a flawless little girl and now she looks like some terribly sad story you read in a magazine.”
The pediatric neurologist had a 9-month waiting list. At the time, you could do almost nothing without a diagnosis from one. Until we were able to get in I was guided to an early intervention program within our community. They had a special-ed preschool for 2-4-year-olds.
I went to the intake meeting with teachers and staff and was so lost. It truly felt like it was me versus 5 people and I was there just to be told what was going to happen and what I was supposed to do. The teacher said during this time “I find children your daughter’s age want to impress adults and we should have her on our schedule in no time. We will listen to each other and grow.” This is the first time I opened my mouth about my daughter in an IEP setting meeting and I said “that sounds lovely, but she doesn’t talk at all, so she may not understand what impresses you.” The teacher looked me straight in the face and said “maybe I need to shut my big fat mouth until I hear what your daughter is all about first.” I respected her so much for that.
I will be sharing Autism testimony every Thursday.
I have 21 years of experience.
I like that teacher’s response!