Today was Oliver’s evaluation at the early intervention center. Today’s appointment determined whether or not he qualified for services at their centers. In order to qualify, he had to present at least a 25% developmental delay in either or all of the following categories: cognitive (problem solving, play, and thinking skills), communication (using gestures, sounds, and words; understanding what others are saying), social/emotional (getting along with others and sharing feelings), physical (using hands and eyes together to do things; rolling, sitting, crawling, walking, running, and jumping), and self-help/adaptive (calming, feeding, sleeping, and dressing). When we were called back to the evaluation room, we were greeted by four lovely ladies who were very warm, inviting, playful, while still professional. We had a speech language pathologist, two special educators, and an occupational therapist. Watching them do their jobs so tactfully and mindfully was refreshing; their passion for their careers was emanating off of them. The interesting (and somewhat annoying) thing about today’s evaluation was that Oliver was more compliant, calm, and social than ever before. He didn’t walk on his toes or spin and didn’t flap his hands except for once. He stacked blocks for the first time and played with toys appropriately for the first time. He was blowing my mind and I was worried that he wasn’t going to qualify for the services that he needs. After over an hour of play-based evaluating, the four women stepped out of the room for 30 minutes to discuss his needs. When they came back to us, the reported that they, too, share my concern for ASD (autism spectrum disorder) and that they highly suggest that he gets a diagnostic evaluation soon. They did a pre-screening autism checklist and they said that 23 out of 25 of the early signs they look for apply to him. They said that, even though he was abnormally high functioning today, there were still a lot of concerns that they picked up on (lack of eye contact, not responding to his name, and having trouble sharing, relating, and listening). Overall, they decided that he qualifies for services and we have our IFSP (individual family service plan) meeting next week where we will discuss service options and set goals towards his progress. I’m very happy to have found such an incredible early intervention center and that my son is going to get the extra help that he needs.
P.s. as soon as we got home, the tantrums, hand flapping, toe walking, and spinning in circles returned (of course– little stinker!).