And I really hope you could read the snark in that title. If not, you either
a) have not been reading here long enough or
b) need to change the battery on your Snark-o-Meter.
Autism Evaluation Timeline:
Referral: October 2014
Initial Visit and screening with nurse: April 2015
We talked and I gave her a medical and developmental history.
Second Visit: January 2016
This visit was just: talking, answering questions and giving the doctor his medical history. Yes, exactly what I did back in April 2015 with a nurse. Mordecai was given an iPad to use and played it the whole time.
Third Visit (canceled) and language evaluation: January 2016
This visit was canceled due to a medical emergency for the doctor..but I was already halfway to Seattle when they called. We kept driving because my son also had a language evaluation with a Speech Language Pathologist. I was told it would take “about a week” to score the tests and I would be mailed a copy “in about two weeks”. It is now six weeks later, and I have heard or seen nothing. Not only that, the SLP has not sent the records to the autism center yet either.
Fourth Visit (today) still no autism evaluation: March 2016
Today’s visit was nothing but questions, again. My son wouldn’t talk to the doctor (hello, he’s here for an autism eval) so I answered (and asked) questions for well over an hour. She asked if anyone had mentioned bipolar before and I said, “yes, but no one has wanted to pursue it because of his age“.
“Well, I think he is old enough and I think it needs to be pursued“.
The doctor today told me the visit was “to discuss his strengths and weaknesses and talk about resources“. Umm….then why do people keep telling me he is going to be evaluated for autism? She knew I was not a Happy Mom. She asked if I brought his current IEP….um, no. I totally could have, but no one asked me to…plus I signed releases for sharing the information at our visit on January 5th. Seriously? This is 2016, everything is electronic, and still, three months later, the school hasn’t shared the information? Then why am I wasting my time driving back and forth? Mordecai just missed another entire school day to sit on a couch and play while I talked to a doctor.
I asked her straight up, “So, do you not evaluate kids who have been exposed to drugs and alcohol?“
“Oh, we do” she assured me. “When it’s warranted.”
And she left it at that.
Chuck had to take the day off because Apollo is sick and my gut told me not to leave his teenage siblings in charge for the whole day when he has a persistent cough and fever. Chuck took him to the doctor and found out he has the beginnings of pneumonia; thankfully caught early and being treated with antibiotics now.
Fifth Visit scheduled for later this month: March 2016
Don’t even ask me if they are going to evaluate him then. I have no idea. In fact, I’m thinking of calling to ask if he even needs to be there. He already misses one morning a week to see a counselor who “has no idea” how to help. This will make two full days this month as well, for…what?
I am supposed to send in a copy of his rejected DDA application and fill out two more questionnaires. In addition to the one I filled out at the appointment today. Why? Why are they so ridiculously inefficient? Am I supposed to believe it never occurred to a single person to have me fill these out before???
She also mentioned a couple of new referrals to new doctors at Children’s. When I pointed out the ridiculous waiting lists she said, “I know“.
So there you have it. This is real life, my friends. Seventeen months of waiting, and we aren’t even to the evaluation part yet. Everything I have done so far in four visits could have been done in one. Seventeen months, he hasn’t been evaluated yet, and even if he does get the Magical Autism Diagnosis, he will then be added to more waiting lists for therapy.
I cannot even tell you how discouraged I am.