I knew there was a variety of testing available, but this feels ridiculous! A month ago, Buddy received 2 evaluations at daycare: the Denver II and the ASQ (Ages and Stages Questionnaire). He received the same evaluations at 6 months – I love our Daycare! (It is NAEYC certified – definitely something to look for in a daycare.) They put great priority on social-emotional development and catching any "problems" if there are any. We knew that Buddy was a little behind in some areas, but were completely caught off guard by the test results: he is far behind in every area they test! I didn't even know he could be "far behind" at 12 months! (My mom suggests it's because he was born early, but even with an adjusted age to account for his 2 weeks before due date, he's still far behind.)
At the daycare's and pediatrician's suggestion, we got an evaluation through First Steps. They did two more evaluations: the DAYC and a Sensory Processing Evaluation. These were pretty involved, and the OT was at our house for about 2 hours doing these evaluations. He qualifies for FirstSteps based on these evaluations.
The pediatrician has since recommended looking into putting tubes in his ears, because he has had so many ear infections. Daddy had chronic ear infections as a child, so we have a meeting set up with an ENT to discuss tubes. Our speech therapist also says he should have an audiologic workup with the ENT. She thinks he has hearing problems, probably associated with the ear infections.
The OT said some of Buddy's problems she has seen associated with allergies, such as his reflux, developmental delays, and small size. So we are taking him to an allergist for an evaluation there.
In addition, we enrolled him in Parents as Teachers as a baby, and have been working with them. (Great program, I highly recommend it to all parents of young children.) Our school district is part of a Developmental/Autism study that is trying to find out how early autism can be diagnosed so they can start services. As part of this study, they did an Ironton and Red Flags screening. These screenings signaled he has some potential issues, so we have a three-hour appointment with them to screen for delays or autism.
What strikes me is that Buddy is a good kid, and when you look at him, play with him, you don't notice anything wrong. At least not with an untrained eye. If he weren't in daycare, I never would have brought some of these issues to the pediatrician, and would not have had him evaluated for First Steps. If it weren't for the research study, I would not have any autism evaluation at 14 months. (BTW the normal wait time for this doc for an evaluation is 6 months!) As we're going through all this, I have to keep reminding myself that he is still the same Buddy he was before, and he is not defined by labels or problems.
We will be getting a lot of new information over the next month. I am a little nervous about what this will reveal, and hope it shows many good things about Buddy!