Lila's Autism Story

 
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SO, with the birth of our Daughter (Lila) everything was “normal” and her milestones were all on track. Sitting up, crawling, walking & talking. Then, all of a sudden around 17-18 I noticed she wasn’t responding to her name when she was called and her speech was completely gone. I went on google and looked it up - one word came up it was Autism. Then I noticed more traits of Autism that I hadn’t clued into with Lila. Her hyper focusing on stacking blocks (not so much lining them up, but stacking) focusing on pouring water from one cup into another repeatedly. I also noticed there was no more interaction with other children - not at the park, at friends houses or even at home. 

I made a doctors appointment right away to talk with my doctor about my concerns. Sitting in the doctors office, and explaining why I thought my daughter has Autism to him - he listened well and instantly put in a referral to a Speech and Language Pathologist for further assessment.  I saw the SLP the following week, and again the week after that. I expressed my concerns regarding a diagnosis for my daughter.

She then agreed with me and my suspicions - that was hard. So freaking hard.

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Just so hear a professional confirm what I was thinking. I mean, I already knew in the back of my head - but this was solid. Ya know what I mean? She put us on a wait list to be assessed (this wait list can be up to 2+ years long - publicly funded) but we also had the option to pay out of pocket (so expensive and a trip out of town, time off of work, hotels etc.) When we realized how long the wait was we decided we would do all that we can to get her assessed privately. I got another referral from a pediatrician & family doctor (along with an assessment report from our SLP) and faxed it off to a private clinic. I got an email from the clinic about a week later with 2 appointment dates. One to see another pediatrician and another to see a child psychologist. Our appointments were only 6 weeks away.
We flew to Vancouver (British Columbia) and got to the hotel and prepared for our meeting. At this time, our daughter was 22 months old. 
We had our appointment with the pediatrician the second day we were there.

She confirmed that Lila indeed would be diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Woah. We knew. But again, this was all happening NOW. It felt - surreal. 


We then had the weekend to go do fun things, play,shop and whatever until Monday morning. Monday we had our appointment with the child psychologist AND were also flying home that evening. We packed up the stuff in the hotel and drove to the centre. Our appointment with the psychologist wasn’t very long, maybe 2.5 hours?  And she also confirmed Lila’s diagnosis. Again, wow. We flew home, and waited about  3-4 weeks for the Centre to send the official diagnosis in a report. That’s how we got our diagnosis.. if we didn’t choose to go privately we would still be waiting for an additional year and a half. I’m glad we did it, and I’m so glad we “caught” it so early.

Jennifer Zeiler