Susan's Blog

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Relic: Nat’s Developmental Checklist

Ned asked me to go through a pile of old papers and I uncovered a treasure trove of documents from 1992.  Here, below, is the original checklist we made of Nat’s developmental issues.  This is the list that prompted our pediatrician to refer him, at last.  That’s Ned’s script, towards the bottom — we were a team at this point!  (And also note that there are questions about cough medicine dosages at the bottom!  And at the very bottom, simply “Max?”… 🙁   🙁  🙁  🙁

BUT, don’t forget:  he is SO DIFFERENT NOW!!!  🙂  🙂  🙂  🙂  🙂


Oh Susan, these kinds of lists bring back such memories. How much our kids change and how much growth there is over time. It also spurs how much we already knew about our kiddos long before anyone every gave them a label of this or that.
I came upon a GARS, remember that, the General Autism Rating Scale, from the mid 90’s, and it had her as severely autistic. I remember hiding it, believing and wishing it not to be true. I now wish it had a disclaimer at the bottom, that read something like, ‘It will all be ok, she will grow up fine, you wil learn things, she will learn and in the end, she will be your delightful daughter.’

— added by Penny on Tuesday, June 21, 2011 at 11:18 am

Do you remember the anxiety you had at the time? That’s the only bad part of going through old papers for me.. I can recall how worried I was. Then I laugh at how hard I thought things were then (when Jack was two and half feet tall!)

— added by Jennifer Byde Myers on Tuesday, June 21, 2011 at 12:55 pm

I knew something was different about D when he was very young, but had no idea what it was.I researched his “symptoms” online and the word autism kept popping up. Dr. Amy Wetherby invited us to her First Words project up at Florida State University when D was 15 months old, after I read an article about her in USA Today and emailed her, so that was when we found out. A tip about one thing they do in autism screenings of a child that young…they blow bubbles, then close the bubble jar and hand it to the toddler. A typically developing toddler will hand the bottle back, because they want you to blow more bubbles. An autistic child will start rolling the bottle on the table. (which is what D did!)

— added by Eileen from Florida on Tuesday, June 21, 2011 at 1:30 pm

I probably have reams of these types of notes under the first layer of my house. It was all consuming.

— added by Susan on Tuesday, June 21, 2011 at 3:38 pm

We were experiencing most of everything on your list as my son was entering the toddler years and I was worried. Since I had twins, I had another child to compare him to and both children were so different. We had just gotten a brand new computer (it was 1999) and I put in Matthew’s symptoms and it read “autism.” I just couldn’t believe it. I talked to my husband and several family members who all told me I was “nuts.” He was fine, just different, merely expressing himself, he was premature after all, blah, blah. I made an appointment with a local neurologist who took one look at my son and pronounced him as “fine.” I was a worrisome mother, children develop at different levels, give him time, he’ll catch up, etc. What a sigh of relief I had! Months go by. On a whim I called Rebecca Dossett at the Autism Center in Birmingham. She told me that she was coming to Mobile to visit another child and would stop by to assess my son. She was with Matthew a total of two minutes when her answer was “Your son has autism.” I burst into tears. I just couldn’t believe it. Still can’t. That day was August 16, 2000, a life changing day for me to be sure.

— added by Sharon Jones on Wednesday, June 22, 2011 at 2:20 pm

I literally have about 50 folders of “stuff” from when Justin was diagnosed. Reading anything from back then brings all those emotions back to me, and then I feel so grateful for where he is, and mostly, who he is. Your boy has come so far!

— added by kim mccafferty on Wednesday, June 22, 2011 at 8:23 pm

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