It occurred to me the other day, while watching my fav TV Show, Parenthood…
The writers have been amazing with how they have portrayed the character, Max, who has Aspergers.
My first observation: someone had to know exactly, the differences in behavior between that of a typically-developing child and a child with Aspergers Syndrome. And further, be able to communicate how this looks and what behavior patterns look like to the audience and viewers of the show.
When seeking a diagnosis, this will also be a huge part of your story. It’s important for you, as a parent to be able to communicate effectively with the Occupational Therapist, in particular. This person will be playing a key role in writing a report for your child that ultimately leads to a diagnosis. You may also have a Pediatrician, a Child Psychologist or other professionals in similar positions who will be aiding your child through this process.
This brings me to my second observation: taking accurate, fact-based notes about your child’s behavior.
Similarly to a set of actors, producers, writers, and all the various positions of a TV show, every single person on that set needs to understand the writers position accurately so that the character is believable.
It is an unfortunate thing, I admit, that when you are pursuing a diagnosis, there will be professionals who will question if your “story” is “believable” or not. But, this will happen so be prepared.
Accurate note-taking, observations with clear behavior patterns, date-stamping everything, remain fact-based-not emotionally driven, do your homework, read books to help you explain what you’re seeing.
Lastly: never give up. If one Professional won’t help, move on to the next one with a higher designation. For example, if your child’s Pediatrician won’t help, get a Developmental Pediatrician who specializes in child development and milestones.
More on Pursuing a Diagnosis in Part 3…