Over the past several days, I have received even more encouragement, and a lot of affirmation that we are in the right place, doing the right thing.
Aaron attended a medical lecture on autism given by a doctor who is the director of developmental pediatrics at the children’s hospital in Tacoma, WA. This guy is a developmental pediatrician – and, a very good one at that! After the lecture, Aaron had a chance to talk with him and share a little about Matthew.
Aaron said that he really wasn’t sure what this doctor would recommend, especially since he pushed for intensive (30 hrs/wk) behavioral therapy for kids with autism.
But, Aaron explained our choice to keep Matthew at home instead of placing him in preschool, and the doctor said “You are absolutely right! He should be with kids the same developmental age – kids that are learning and doing the same things that he is learning and doing. But, he definitely should not be in a classroom with kids with autistic spectrum disorders! You don’t want him picking up those behaviors!” He offered to help us with mainstreaming Matthew if we ever faced challenges with that, and said that a recommendation from a developmental pediatrician can go a long way with the school district.
Aaron also mentioned Matthew’s evaluation, and his speech delay. He asked how delayed Matthew was, and Aaron told him how much ( … er, how little?) he was speaking, but that he had almost 100 ASL signs that he uses on a regular basis. The doctor said, “That’s GREAT language!” Aaron explained that they can’t count it on the evaluation (we’ll get to that later), and the doctor said, “Well, maybe not, but it COUNTS!”
I’m smiling even as I write this – it was such wonderful affirmation, and at a time when we really needed it. For Matthew’s signs to be called “Great language!” by someone who truly is an expert – and for our choice to keep him home to be supported – it’s was fantastic.
. . . to be continued!