Easy Screening.

Standard

A lot of people ask me, “How did you know?” in response to my saying I knew–in a nonofficial and not as serious sense– my son had autism before we ever saw a doctor.

There’s a lot as to why and how really, though my Mommy Intuition has a lot to do with it… Moms just know when something is going on with their babies sometimes.

But there are tools to help.  Professionals are supposed to use the M-CHAT at well check-up appointments between 12-24 months.  If your doctor has not done the M-CHAT with you, you can see/score it here.  The M-CHAT is a set of development questions, but not all of the questions are equal– certain questions more clearly distinguish that your child can be at risk for autism.  Pay attention to the scoring if you do it yourself.

Another screening tool that a lot of Moms use is from childbrain.com titled “PDD Assess” linked to here.  This one is a bit more involved, but it was a great indicator for my understanding of our son before he went to his evaluation– his score on this test is generally around 110, indicating just Moderate PDD, which is just about right (though our son is mild in a lot of ways). If you take this test about your child, make sure you read the directions on how to score it.  It can get confusing if you do not use the directions, and what you think is severe may not be… or vise versa actually.

If you take one of these screening tests, be honest with yourself and about your child, but do not freak at the results.  These are tests that can indicate your child is at risk or has a likelihood of diagnosis for autism or another of the pervasive development disorders, but they are not psychologists, developmental pediatricians or neurologists… those are the professionals who diagnose, treat and work with these disorders on a regular basis.  Find a professional you trust and get your child into their care.

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About rhapsodyinautism

I'm a Mom of two little ones-- a two-year-old son newly diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and a baby girl who is too young to make any guesses. I work a little bit from home for an environmental nonprofit, and I am a freelance journalist. I love cooking, singing, and autumn weather. And I'm married to a brilliant, involved Daddy. My son is an auburn-haired smartypants who loves trucks and jazz. He taught himself the alphabet at 20 months. He has a beautiful social smile, but he finds eye contact aversive. He is the reason I am writing this blog... because there is a huge lack in legislation, funding, insurance coverage, and understanding in regards to autism spectrum disorders. This will be my place to advocate, tell the tale of our journey, and hopefully share a few tears and laughs along the way. This is our family life, and we have embraced it.

2 responses »

    • Kate,
      I read that piece a little while ago, and I found it extremely moving. That blogger has a very compelling story, and I have found many of her posts so important. I also found her very easy to identify with in my own weird ways. In any case, “Quiet Hands” is a truly special piece, and it is a reminder to all of us that sometimes behaviors that seem “strange” to some are nothing more than “strange” to those who perceive it as strange, and it is not our place to change. My son doesn’t do a lot of hand flapping in comparison to other things, though he has times he does… I know he is using it to cope, and it hurts me deeply to imagine the experience of those who were forced– for lack of a better word– to change. I definitely will have to do a post with that in mind sometime sooner than later. I hope YOU are doing well, too!! Thanks for reading 🙂

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