Have you ever had one of those gut feelings where you know you are right? But you're sure those around you think your wrong? It's a horrible feeling. Especially when you don't have a solid piece of evidence to stand on.
The last few months I've been dealing with this gut feeling. My gut says my daughter needs help with speech. She needs help finding the right words to communicate with her world. My gut says she simply needs extra help finding the key to unlock her language for learning. Those around me said she was broken. They said she doesn't fit with other kids, she's not smart enough, she's not this, she's not that. Lots of finger pointing. Lots of can'ts. Surely, I've noticed she's different. Surely, I've thought she's Autistic.
May I tell you something? She's not broken. She's not average. She's God's creation.
Monday, we had another appointment at MUSC in Charleston. We met with an Autism specialist. I didn't want to. I put it off. I tried to talk myself out of it. But I knew we needed to go. And I was afraid. I was afraid my daughter would have a label for the sake of putting a diagnosis with a symptom. My gut says she doesn't have Autism. My gut says she has a language delay. But who trusts my gut feeling? No parent wants to admit their child has a fault, isn't perfect, etc. I should want the extra services for school. I should want to be able to put a finger on why my daughter doesn't talk. I should want a simple answer to explain to people.
In your deepest fears you learn what makes you tick. I poured my soul out to God. I cried out on behalf of my daughter. I don't want her childhood stolen from her. I want her to live to her fullest potential; to be what God has created her to be. And I don't want my pride to stand in her way.
Our appointment lasted nearly 6 hours. We had interviews and evaluations. We were in the room while our daughter was being tested. We saw the same things the evaluator saw. I am proud of my daughter. She cooperated. She had fun! She did better than I expected. And the preliminary results are too close to call.
So for now, we have no diagnosis. We can't check off all the boxes for Autism. Yes, she has some delays and barriers, but not enough. The team will provide us with an in-depth report in the next few weeks, and for now the recommendation is to re-evaluate in 5 to 6 months. They would like to gather more information once she's back in school and see how she does in Kindergarten. So far, my gut is right.
I am relieved.