MyKail was placed into speech therapy shortly after his 2nd birthday but after 3 months and little progress (in my eyes) I made an appointment with our pediatrician to discuss autism evaluation. This was a back and forth debate within myself, and also with the boys dad--but we joined forces. We met with his pediatrician, whom I love and appreciate. I suggest shopping around if you don't feel "it" with your pediatrician. The eval process can be daunting and there wasn't much help for me besides Mykail's doctor.
They performed what's called a M-CHAT, Modified Checklist for Autism. A fancy way of asking you, the parent, a few questions to get your perspective and be an advocate for your child. Mykail is non-verbal (not completely, but not with full sentences or words always) so I am his voice. I can only assume what I tell doctors is what he's feeling based off what I observe in our daily life. Kail's M-CHAT suggested that we needed to do an actual autism evaluation. This is something that as his mother, I already knew. Autism doesn't have a "look" but there are a few noticeable characteristics. Yet, even then, so many of the "symptoms" of ASD can truly be a common child like act.
Being a black woman in America, I've, personally, always wanted to avoid negative stigmas. I, also, naturally do not trust doctors or western medicine. I don't need to explain the story on that, we are not here for that...but with that being said, I scheduled my little black boy THREE evaluations to determine hiss diagnosis.
When researching places to get an Autism Diagnosis start with your insurance and see what ASD services they cover. If they don't have any coverage, reach out to your states local services in regards to getting your little one evaluated on their dime. Also, research head start programs through the state that may assist with IFSP's & IEP's (I'll break those down in another post).
We started the evaluation process during the late spring of 2019, I was also expecting my 2nd son during this time. We got our official diagnosis 1 day before MyKail's third birthday. I remember how I felt walking out of that meeting. I heard a lot but missed out of so much of what the doctor had said. This was the first diagnosis. As I walked to my car my eyes filled with tears and I called my mommy. Then, I called the boys dad. We cried together. Whatever future we had dreamed for our son was now slightly shifted forever by one phone call.
One thing was for certain despite it all--MyKail was still MyKail.