So today I want to share with you a bit about Georgie’s Autism diagnosis journey. This all started back in September 2019, when we had Georgie’s two year review with a health visitor and a community nurse. It was during this review that they picked up on some warning signs which caused them concern, in relation to Georgie’s development and progress, and decided to make a referral to our community paediatrician.
Before this review I had never really sat down and thought about Georgie’s development. We knew that he was probably behind in some area’s but had not really considered the possibility of him being behind in almost every area of his development. Although this came as a shock, I have to say it was not really a surprise once it had sunk in. When I think about it, Georgie is quite clearly below your average 2.5 year old in his development.
However, saying that Georgie is amazing with his physical development. He was always advanced; an early crawler, an early walker, he ran and span around and threw himself upside down. Georgie has always been active, perhaps a bit too much(!), running from the minute he wakes up until the minute he goes to bed every single day.
But the more I thought about it, the more and more I felt like we had missed something major. I had always had little niggling doubts with regards to Georgie; he never made much eye contact, didn’t really enjoy physical contact (even with us) and he didn’t verbalise very much. He was about 18 months before he said “mum mum” for the first time, and he couldn’t say much more. I had mentioned to Steve before that I felt that something wasn’t right on a few occasions. But nothing made it more obvious than when Molly was born.
To begin with, we fobbed a lot of things off. We thought that Georgie would just take time to adapt to his new sibling. That this was normal behaviour for a 2 year old with a new sibling. Georgie has a real struggle with his understanding, so we couldn’t prepare him, or explain that he was going to have a new sibling. For Georgie, it was like he woke up one morning and there was a new baby in the house. Georgie hated her. He absolutely hated her.
Even now, Molly is 9 months old and Georgie takes absolutely no interest in her. He doesn’t play with her, doesn’t cuddle her, won’t sit anywhere near her. And when she cries, he screams the house down. People have kept saying to us “give him time, it’s all new. He’ll come round to her in a few weeks” but he still hasn’t. I hope that when she’s older he will start to play with her and interact with her. But for now, we take each little triumph that a new day brings. Like when he sits that little bit closer to her, or actually looks at her when they’re in the same room.
Anyway. I’ve sidetracked. So the community nurse put in a referral to the community paediatrician. And we had to take Georgie along for an appointment. I literally knew the date and time of this, I had no idea what to expect and I certainly didn’t know what they were going to ask. I’m going to talk about our first appointment in another blog post, so you will be able to read more details about that if you would like to.
We went along to the appointment, which was much less scary than I had made it out to be in my head. The community paediatrician was so lovely. He asked me lots of questions and watched Georgie playing and interacting. At the end, he explained that he would like to complete a full assessment of Georgie as he was showing a lot of the signs for Autism. So we will move forward with the referral and now that Georgie has been accepted by the paediatrician we can start to get him some extra support.
We have access to a whole team of people; our health visitor, a community nurse, speech & language therapist and our community paediatrician. Georgie will also get some support at nursery, which will enable them to support him better and we are hoping to see a real improvement with him when this happens.
But, we now have to play a waiting game. Georgie needs to have some blood and genetic testing done, needs to have his hearing checked and nursery have to fill out a questionnaire for us. These things will all take time, and then we can have another appointment with our paediatrician. We are probably looking at 3 months, or so, down the line before our next appointment.
Georgie’s Autism diagnosis journey isn’t going to be a quick one. It’s going to be many months down the line, full of assessments and tests and watching his development. We know that this journey can take months, even years for some people. But now the ball is rolling we can get access to support for our boy. We are beyond proud of our baby and want to support him in the best way possible, to give him the best start and the best chances for his development.
Are you a parent who has been on a diagnosis journey? Perhaps you are also on a journey right now. Can you offer and advice or support for other parents who might be going through a similar experience? Leave a comment below, or drop us an email using our contact form because we always love hearing from you! We will be sure to share any useful advice on the blog and our social media accounts as well.