I’ve been planning to write this post for a month or so. I’ve held off for a few reasons. One of them is that I know that a lot of you will be stunned.
It’s about Tesser. I’m worried about her.
So many of you have met her. And everyone raves about what a beautiful, sweet, smiley, happy baby she is. And she is all those things.
She also hasn’t progressed in any notable way in the last 2 or 3 months. Besides sitting and adding a combination scoot-roll mobility to her gross motor repertoire, it’s been stagnant. Her language has stalled out at just a little bit of babbling, light on consonants. She will respond to voices sometimes. She plays intensely and concentrates hard. Talking to her doesn’t give you smiles or feedback. She doesn’t mimic.
Yes, she is beautiful and sweet. And I’m also worried she’ll end up with an Autism diagnosis.
It’s preliminary, of course. This week she has her 9-month pediatrician appointment. I’ll talk to her doctor. And depending on our conversation, I’ll probably make a call to Early Intervention to see about having her evaluated. Delays have to be a certain amount behind before they can step in. But I’m seeing significant enough receptive and expressive language delays that I don’t feel comfortable.
This feeling has been creeping around the edges for months.
It’s a big change from how I used to feel. I was so certain that she wasn’t. Not this baby. Not this little girl that I held on my lap every day during Graham’s therapy and smiled at.
How could she look at me so deeply all the time and have anything wrong?
Of course I know better.
And I know what you’re going to want to tell me. You want to tell me she’s FINE. You’ve SEEN her. There’s NOTHING wrong with her.
But everyone told me that about Graham, too.
A child can be bright and charming and still be autistic. And I can’t put off thinking about it any longer.
So I’ll be talking to the pediatrician and possibly getting her evaluated by Early Intervention.
I am trying to learn my own lessons and not grieve for a lost future when I don’t even know if it’s lost yet. I’ve always seen those hyper-verbal little babies, so inquisitive and outgoing, and always knew I’d have one.
But a few weeks ago I laid Tessa down for her nap and I just had this sudden strong feeling. I am going to have two autistic children, I thought. And it will be okay.
Proclaiming any diagnosis right now is hilariously ahead of the game. But I’m getting myself ready for whatever news there is, good or bad. I’m not an expert.
But I know one thing.
It will be okay.