I can’t start this story without looking back first. We’ve always had questions. We’ve always wondered about behaviors and we’ve always been challenged as this is our first child, our only child and we don’t know any different.
Our daughter was first diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder at 3 years of age and that diagnosis stayed them same until now.
About 6 months ago, after we had fought through OT not working and years of therapy and trying absolutely everything except medication we decided it was time to try medication.
We were referred from our child psychologist to a child psychiatrist who could prescribe medication and also look further into Miss Sensory’s symptoms. For those newbies this is the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist.
So, of course we waited the usual 3 months to get into this child psychiatrist hoping for a prescription to move forward with and after two hours we left with the suggestion that we should have more testing done. This was not what we wanted. We were tired, tired of waiting, tired of trying, tired of hoping for something different.
We were lucky to have only 3 months to wait to get in for testing, with a highly recommended psychologist who would be doing psychological testing for all kinds of things but mainly Autism Spectrum disorder.
In the waiting, I spent a lot of time reading about Autism in girls in preparation for the upcoming testing. I knew, Autism in girls is extremely hard to diagnose. The testing came and we filled out multiple evaluations one set by me and one by sensory dad along with the psychologist’s evaluations. After multiple appointments, we met with her for a feedback appointment.
I have never been so nervous out of all the things we have done. As I was for this appointment. I didn’t know if I wanted a different diagnosis, or if I wanted there to be nothing. I didn’t know if I wanted her to say wow she’s complicated and I have no idea what to do, like I’ve seen so many other’s do that have tried to help our family.
Here’s what I knew…
What I did see was someone who had thoroughly looked through our files, really dug in to her observations and didn’t take the inconsistences as bad parenting. We were able to collaborate with her and left with feeling confident in her diagnosis.
I’ve tried to find the words to write this post and I’ve struggled, this diagnosis hasn’t sunk in yet. I haven’t had a lot of time to process it and I’m sure that’s what I need, more time. But, I’m just going to put this out there…
Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder were added to our list of diagnosis for Miss Sensory.
I feel like I’ve jumped into a whole new world. A world where there isn’t a lot of information on girls with these disorders and girls with these disorders are completely different than boys!!
This was nothing we were surprised by, this was everything we’ve seen since she was born. It’s the questions we’d always ask. In a way we’ve always known, there may be more disorders. Too often we got told she was too young for a lot of diagnosis. I get it.
ADHD was always a part of the conversation and it’s an easier one to see and get it.
Autism in girls looks much different than what you see as Autism in boys.
The words from our child psychologist that resonates with me as we were talking with her, “I am thinking this is more than just anxiety,” as I was sharing our experience with Miss Sensory having a lot of anxiety. She explained how her thought patterns get really stuck and she can’t get out of them. This was Autism.
I watched Miss Sensory last week having a conversation with Grandma and not asking Grandma any questions about what she was talking about and wanting to control the conversation with what she wanted to say. I saw Autism.
I have so much to learn. I have so much to see between SPD, ASD and ADHD. This is more than the typical symptoms of Autism we always hear about with developmental delays, lack of social play and imaginative play. This is a different cognitive process.
Although, it hasn’t sunk in yet I know that the more research and awareness I have the more I will be able to pin point the areas that are effected by which diagnosis. It has brought me more compassion and grace for our beautiful girl, the world is a tough and challenging place, and it’s my job to help her through it, as I learn to see each individual diagnosis.
PS: Dear readers: Please be patient with me as the dust settles and I process all this new change in our journey!!