Today was Donovan’s appointment with the Developmental Specialist at Children’s Hospital. I’ve been sort of looking forward to this appointment because, obviously, the specialist will laugh and say, “Oh, we get kids like him in all the time! Nothing wrong with him! Take him home and have a nice day!”
Which is almost what she said.
We got there at 8:45am and while this office is still in Oakland and not at the fabulously swank New Children’s Hospital in Lawrenceville, the place was very nice. Of course, because I‘m a terrible person, the first thing I did upon walking into the waiting room was look at all the kids and try to figure out what was wrong with them. We had a few minutes to wait and Donovan spent a lot of it communing with the fish in a very large and lovely fishtank in the lobby. I should have gotten some photos of that.
ANYhow, we met with a doctor who was very nice (and very YOUNG tho I won’t hold that against her). The four of us spent about an hour or so together while she watched Donovan play with various toys. She asked us a lot of questions and the first time she stopped to take a breath, she said something along the lines of, “Well, we want to get him therapy either way, if he’s autistic or not.” When she finished talking she asked me what I thought and my response started with, “I was kind of hoping not to hear the word ‘autistic’ today.” I think she spent the rest of her time trying to talk me off the ledge but, really, I only felt better after she had me fill out some questionnaires. It felt very good to check off all the things Donny does (makes eye contact, responds to his name) but it felt even better to check off the things he doesn’t do (smear feces on the wall, injure animals or younger children, break things). As she went thru those questionnaires, and as she filled out one of her own with us, she seemed to recant the autism mention. She did’nt entirely rule it out but she seemed to be going out of her way to calm me down. We need to set up a follow up appointment in 3 months. In the meantime, we’re going to sign him up for early intervention speech programs and "play development."
So it was good news, I guess. I wish I could feel better about it. I'm sure I will but not yet.