Sunday, August 19, 2012

The "A" Word

Sumner's results from testing and my meeting with the psychologist were surprising and yet not on Friday. Sumner took the ADOS and his score was a 1, with 7-8 being the diagnosis level for him to be considered autistic. She just kept commenting on how delightful he was one on one, and he was really excited about an abstract book she showed him that is geared for older children. She did note some issues with facial expression, and saw more behaviors when she observed him at daycare, but it is very clear he is not autistic.

That being said, she confirmed in a very strong way what we already knew: his sensory scores remain off the charts. She said "he has sensory processing disorder, and generalized anxiety secondary to the sensory issues." SPD is not yet recognized in the DSM, which makes things more difficult from a school-standpoint. Luckily, he has qualified and is on an IEP for the next few years, so for now we don't need to worry. Sumner is proof positive that a child can have sensory processing disorder and not be autistic. As for attention issues, she saw them, but is hesitant to diagnose ADHD at this age. We'll revisit it down the line if need be.

In some ways I was surprised, in others not. I felt in my heart Summy is not autistic. It would have been easy to get an Aspergers dignosis because it would have made the school-side easy. But in other ways I am deeply thankful that we can truly know what exactly is going on with him to better tailor therapy.

Summy has autistic-like traits. The psychologist said that they come out when he is sensory overwhelmed. We will continue to try to make sure his sensory needs are met at school so that he can learn and thrive.


Sarah Dee said...

I am so happy you have a representitve eval of your sweetie.

I am not surprised, looking at the pictures you have shared. SPD is so real, stupid DSM. I hope you are able transition well to school age services, and the first weeks make for a smooth year. Good luck. I am frequently thinking about your boys.

Allison said...

You are such a great mommy, pursuing all the testing and treatments that you do. I hope someday that they recognize SPD--it's obviously very real. ((HUGS))

the other lion said...

My son also has autistic traits and sensory processing disorder but is not diagnosed with autism. He has Fragile X Syndrome. Glad you are getting the help he needs.

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