Eli’s ST couldn’t make it today but his OT came anyway. Before she started to work for EI she worked in the school system with autistic kids ages 3 and up. Last week (first time she met Eli) she said, “Let’s work with him for a month or two and then we can talk about getting an evaluation done to see IF he’s on the spectrum.” Today after working with him for a good hour, and really getting to work with him, she said, “Let’s get on the referral right now. It will be good to know where ON the spectrum he is and get him all the therapy he qualifies for.” She went on to say that studies are showing that catching it this early and starting intensive therapy NOW only has benefits.
Eli’s OT session went really well today though. She brought a bag of really cool toys. When she got here, he came to the door with me, we opened the door and when he saw her (she could have been anyone really) he threw himself on the floor like he does. So she went into the living room with her bag-o-tricks and sat on the floor and took out a peg board toy. Eli ran right to her when he saw her brightly colored pegs.
He LOVES toys and he LOVES brightly colors things and he LOVES little things he can hold in his hands and he LOVES building things .. and she had these things all in one toy! He was so happy. He focused really well and was very intent on building the pegs up up up. Everything had to be just so. He did so well stacking them up and keeping them up. And if they came apart he was sure to put them right back to where they were. He was working on UP and DOWN with this activity.
G (I mistakenly thought that Eli’s OT’s name began with a J, it’s a G) is aware of Eli’s trouble transitioning from something he loves to something new and so she was great with him and really helped him transition well. Next he played with a shape sorter that made this odd noise (ever play with one of those annoying noise sticks that you get an parades? you tip it and it makes this slide sound?) when you put the blocks in. It only had three different shapes which was nice. And it was round so it could also be rolled back and forth. Eli was much more interested in sticking the shapes in, but he did roll it across the room a few times. He was working on IN and OUT with this activity.
Next he played with this scrunchy green plastic tube. It could be made into a hat, or just a long tube and it scrunched up and pulled out. He wasn’t as keen on this as he was the other toys, but after seeing G “yell” into the tube he decided to do that too and it was really cute. He was working on PUSH and PULL with this activity. After a little while of this activity he decided he had enough of playing with G’s toys and he ran into his toy room to play with his toys.
We all moved into the toy room with him and as he played with his train table (best $40 ever!) G and I talked. That’s when she laid it on me. That’s when she said it’s very important to get on the referrals now and get him an official diagnosis so he can get some intensive therapy. She said he will likely qualify for 25-30 hours of therapy a week outside of the EI stuff he already receives. Seems like a lot of therapy. But if it will help then I’m all for it.
I realize that I know nothing about autism. I need to start to educate myself here. We knew this was likely the case … but we were hoping it wasn’t actually the case. I’ll probably try to find some general books about the spectrum and then when we have his official diagnosis I’ll find some more specific information.
I’m not okay with this right now. I know that it is what it is, but I wish it wasn’t.