At 18 months, in addition to his standard well-baby checkup, Alec also underwent an autism evaluation. I don’t think I’ve mentioned it on the blog, but a few of Alec’s behaviors and mannerism had me pretty concerned. I was anxious for this appointment. Alec’s doctor felt my concerns were accurate and valid. He felt like Alec “probably” didn’t have autism, but said there were still a number of red flags that he said meant we weren’t “out of the woods yet.”
The main concerns were, Alec could only say a couple words as opposed to the handful of words they hope for at this age. He also predominantly walks on his toes which is typically of a lot of children but even more common with sensory or neuro-atypical children. Alec also struggled with facial recognition and was extremely emotionally sensitive and wasn’t meeting social milestones. His doctor wanted to wait a few months to see how those red flags worked themselves out before starting early intervention. So that’s where we currently stand.
One thing that never ceases to amaze and confuse me is how when I mention to others how I am worried about Alec and his behaviors, how quickly they are to invalidate my concerns. “Oh he seems fine. There’s nothing wrong with him. Looks normal to me,” are only a few of the comments I hear back from people when I mention that I am worried about this or that. I guess I’ll never understand why others are so quick to dismiss my worries and feelings. Even after Megan received several medical diagnoses, including Autism, I still have people who doubt when I talk about some of her struggles and difficulties. I wonder if people think I am just seeking attention? Or maybe they think any problems my children have are just due to poor parenting on my part? Or maybe acknowledging that Megan (and maybe Alec) have a behavioral or neurological problem means acknowledging that my load might be heavy and maybe they don’t want to extend any additional emotional support my way? And maybe they just don’t mean anything and are just trying to be supportive and hopeful…I don’t know. I just know that sometimes it hurts when I express to another that I am concerned about this or that only to be dismissed and invalidated. So if there is someone in your life who comes to you and expresses concern about their child, maybe just say something like, “oh no, I am sorry you have those concerns! I hope everything is ok. Keep me posted as you learn more.”
We will probably do a follow-up evaluation at his 24 month check-up. The doctor said we could do it as soon as 21 months, but I feel like it’s okay to give him the full six months to see how his development works itself out. Also, at 18 months he weighed in at about 22.5 pounds (27%tile) and was 33 inches tall (78%tile.)