“The Smartest Kids Get Autism”

Zoe’s autism evaluation was today. She  had a great time. She was shown lots of flip books with pictures in them that she had to identify. She did really well on all her little tests and even did her “more” sign when they were blowing bubbles outside. But the “problem” was that when the doctors watched her play, they were concerned that she didn’t look at me for confirmation for anything. She didn’t check back with my eyes when she pushed the truck on the ground outside.

They also were concerned back in the little evaluation room that she lined up all the dolls instead of doing pretend play. Then when they asked Zoe a question and she repeated their last word back to them, they said this speech pattern was called “echolalia,” which is a “red flag” for autism. They were pretty shocked when she picked up a book and started to sound out the letters into words. I guess two-year-olds aren’t supposed to be able to do that.

So even though we haven’t sat down and talked about an official diagnosis, it looks like my baby girl has autism, or PDD-NOS with the “splinter skill” “hyperlexia” on the side… whatever the heck that all means. Google is going to be my best friend for the next few weeks.

I know I should probably be freaking out but really I’m not that worried about it because Zoe  is so smart and so sweet and so funny and outgoing at her music classes with her performances in the middle of the circle, that I can’t imagine this autism business is going to be that terrible. I asked the doctor what the effects of autism on Zoe would look like in 10 years from now. She said she didn’t know. So I kind of feel like I am looking at a blank sheet of paper here.

I asked Dr. Lisa about Jennie McCarthy and curing Autism. The doctor said not to bother and that the only thing proven to help is Occupational Therapy, something called, ABA and Speech Therapy. Today she sent out the referrals for speech and “OT” but I have to figure out health insurance, which means I have to speak to Chris about all of this.

Dr. Lisa said autism seems to happen to the smartest kids. Which is why, I suppose, It happened to my little genius Zoe. She gave me some pamphlets for CARD (Center for Autism) and for support groups too, but I left them at the office. I don’t need any support.

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About Odette

Odette's character is written by Emmerson Grace Hayes. email: ungratefulbliss@gmail.com If only small talk could be replaced by dancing...
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One Response to “The Smartest Kids Get Autism”

  1. Hello Odette,
    I know you don’t know me at all, and I do not know you. I have been reading your blog and am blown away by your complete honesty. I just wanted to reach out to you because I am an ABA therapist who works with children with Autism. I saw you mentioned ABA in your post briefly. I just wanted to let you know that you can talk to me or ask me questions any time you want about Zoe and all the stuff that will be happening in the future! I will not be offended at all if you choose not to contact me at all! I know that the beginning of all this is super overwhelming for parents and sometimes “google” doesn’t accurately give you good info on what you are looking for. I wish you guys all the best, and will be continuing to read your blog! hang in there 🙂
    -SD

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