The news was expected but unexpected. My youngest was convinced she was like her sister and on the spectrum and we just were not sure. So at the same age of when her older sister was assessed, we paid private to have our younger daughter assessed as well. We were told at the time there was no way it could be Autism and we accepted that and moved forward to help with the challenges at hand. Keep in mind we are under the assumption we are dealing with a Neurotypical child that is battling mental illness perhaps and some other issues.
Fast forward to 10 months ago when we fully hit a wall, she was now not coping at all, could no longer attend school and OCD was off the charts, so we got weekly counselling set up, and brought her to Children’s Hospital to be assessed by the Mood and Anxiety clinic, doing everything we can to figure out the best support.
Now six months later and the psychiatrist and councillor are convinced this has to be Autism, so we are referred to Sunny Hill for testing again, but find out the wait is 18 – 24 months, we can’t wait that long so we ask around for the best person to see our daughter.
Now one month later and during the parent’s portion of the assessment to answer detailed questions about her history, we offer up the report we paid for when she was 11 only to find out the ASD assessment was never done. This turns into shock, anger and now guilt for not comparing the lists of tests done on my oldest daughter years back to even see if the tests done were the same. I came to terms witht the fact that this was not my fault, my contract was clear on what I was looking for, and it was not done. Three years wasted thinking we had done everything we could have.
Yesterday, on a Skype call we receive the news, our youngest is in fact also Autistic and Dr. G. helps us to understand how all these ongoing issues are not separate but collectively clearly show Autism.
We’ve been down this road, the feelings of bittersweet are familiar, the tears, the sadness, the relief of now knowing. All I want to do is hold her and apologize for having expectations that she just could not meet.
Our daughters are bright, strong, passionate, confident in who they are. I’m so grateful for having them in my life.
So now the journey to intervention and support starts again, I can’t wait to see the amazing growth and changes in her.