Last year, I sat beside Alex's stepmom in small chairs around a half circle table and listened to Alex's sister's teacher snap at Alex's mommy, "she's not autistic." As if the idea was completely ludicrous and Alex's mommy was stupid for even thinking it. I asked what she was. I asked what diagnoses they were giving her. I asked why she was so far behind in areas that were not behavior (because you know that part was all mommy's fault for being a crappy parent). They said they couldn't say without doing evaluations first. Really? Evaluations are needed? Imagine that. I'm shocked.
I came home and I wrote a post about who can and cannot diagnose autism. I explained medical evaluations and educational evaluations. I told you that without evaluation, they cannot give a diagnosis and if they cannot give a diagnosis without evaluation, they cannot rule out a diagnosis without evaluation.
I told you I wanted you to know, while they sit there in their presumed superiority throwing words at you, that you are not alone. That we all hear it. This is a fight that we all fight.
*wry smile*, how quickly we forget the lessons we've learned. It's so much easier to see when it happens to someone else, isn't it?
Every day we face family members and friends who tell us that we are paranoid, that we are looking for an excuse for our bad parenting. They blame you.
We go to doctors who tell us that whatever is there is not this specific thing so it must be nothing. They blame the schools. They say, "Get an advocate." "Make the school do something." "You know how schools are, they aren't going to do anything unless you make them."
We go to school and they snap at us or they look at us with these looks and tell us, "s/he's doing this so it can't be Auditory Processing Disorder/Autism/insert diagnosis of choice." They say you worry too much. We allow too much. They say what you see is typical. They call it behavior. They give you trouble and list the many, many reasons you should not request re-evaluation even though you have followed all of the rules and you are well within your rights to make that request.
You have people who barely know your kids giving you parenting advice. Doctors giving you educational advice. Schools giving you medical advice. and in the swarms of voices telling you things they have no knowledge of other than their personal opinion presented as fact ... you start to doubt yourself.
Don't give up. Don't give in. Don't let the voices fool you.
They see pieces while you see the whole picture. They are standing a clearing saying, "this cannot be a forest because there are no trees here," while the forest surrounds them. They aren't in your home. They aren't raising your child. They don't see what you see.
Trust your instincts, always. If you are concerned, that's reason enough to check it out. Don't let them tell you differently, don't stop until you have an answer that satisfies you.