Monday, July 13, 2009

Being taken seriously

By the May, my life resembled a good Western movie set. On the outside, everything looked ok and stable but if you went behind the scenes, you saw that the set was held up by strategically placed props... remove one of these and the whole lot would come tumbling back down again! My props were my family and friends who gave me emotional support and a shoulder to cry on when thing were getting too much for me. I'm sure they must have been fed up at time with my preoccupation with autism and all things autism related but never once waivered... always there was an ear to listen, a hug to help when words are not enough and support to keep going. On the other hand there was also denial from Munchkins dad and his family who didn't want to believe there was anything wrong. Hammie from Hammiesblog wrote a wonderful piece called "D is for Denial" which helped me understand to a degree their reluctance to accept what to me was obvious...

The appointment day with the paediatrician at hospital finally arrived and I bundled Munchkin into her buggy and sat in the waiting room. When we were called in, I was greeted by not only the paediatrician, but a team of medics. We sat and discussed my fears and observations while Munchkin strained to be released from the buggy, whining and crying. I was asked to ask her questions such as "what do you want", "do you want to get out", "whats the matter" "Up?" with no physical prompts whatsoever. I did so and Munchkin just carried on whining and straining at the straps. They then asked me to do what I would normally do at times like this and so I put my arms out and gestured "up" and she stopped crying so I could unstrap her. They repeated several tests like that and she only responded to the physical prompts. She climbed across doctors to get to things she wanted and had no stranger fear whatsoever! After about 45 mins, the paediatrician concurred with me that there was cause for concern and wrote down the details for Assessment of Need and urged me to apply to get started with that. She also referred Munchkin to the AMO (Area Medical Officer) to have a full developmental assessment and the MCHAT scored... Finally I felt as if someone was listening! I went home with my bundle of information and numbers and set about ringing and writing letters thinking we would be able to get moving properly. Little did I know that over a year later I would still be trying to get the Assessment of Needs service statement finished...

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Lisa said...

Ah thanks Pet! Glad my little ole blog could be of use. It is strange to be in a situation where being told "you're right - there is something wrong" is actually a relief!!

Glad it got you on the right track for answers. Let everyone else catch up when they are ready hey??


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