the first day of the rest of your life, part 1

so today was the big one – Jovie’s assessment at the Children’s Hospital. this is the appointment that has given me nightmares each night for the past week, probably why my migraine last week hung around longer than usual. this assessment should finally give us something to start with, rather than another line of tests to complete.

the assessment itself took almost 2 hours. lots of talking and repeating what we had already outlined in the bazillion questionnaires we’ve filled in this year, but this time they also had Jovie in the room and it was apparent to them that there are issues and that they were real. we had the paediatrician, the occupational therapist and social worker attend with my mum, Jovie and i. the OT took Jovie and my mum into another room and went through some little tests to check her skills while i finished the q&a with the doctor.

after a short break for some lunch (westmead kid’s has some great spaces and playgrounds for kids!) and to fill in yet another questionnaire about Jo, we’re upstairs for the official breakdown and diagnosis.

the doctor is sitting closer to me this time around, and i’m noticing she’s talking slower and with a lower tone of voice. in my head, i’m bracing for what she’s about to say, sort of half knowing what she’s about to tell us.

she speaks about the 5 things they look at while assessing kids – i really wish i could remember what she was saying but it was basically motor skills, fine motor skills, social, speech and cognitive. Jovie is better at motor skills (she can walk, she can sit up and get up) though is she delayed. but unfortunately all the other 4 skills, she’s much further behind and on par with a 5 month old baby. a 5 month old – that’s 23 months behind usual development. and so, she finally concludes –

Jovie meets the DSM-IV criteria for autistic disorder. Jovie is autistic.


FionaSeptember 5th, 2011 at 8:05 pm

Wow. *hug*

At least you have what you were thinking?

Not much I can say right now, except email me if you need to ask ANY “silly questions”

brebolivarSeptember 6th, 2011 at 12:47 am

oh tracey.

i’m happy that this post is titled ‘part 1′ because we need a part 2. and 3! hugs to you and regan from colombia.

Wanda LynnSeptember 6th, 2011 at 3:40 am

I am sorry to hear it but at least you know and work to help her! My son was diagnosed when he was 6 with an ASD and ADHD. Some days are quite the struggle but we make it work! Even though we live in different countries and things may be done a bit different, an ASD is an ASD and I am here to answer any questions that I can if you ever need it!

Rita D.September 6th, 2011 at 6:26 am

I can only imagine this is the kind of news that changes everything in one’s life. I wish I had more to give you than just showing my support, but I wanted to leave a comment anyway.
I have been following you for a long time, and I believe you are a great mom, and you will continue to do the best for your children. Keep strong and there’s anything at all you may need from this side of the world, just ask.

yimaSeptember 6th, 2011 at 8:08 pm

Tracey, lots of love and hugs. Take each day as it comes, there are amazing organisations and people that can help. If you need any information please track down the publication “through the maze”, it is a valuable resource providing information about government assistance, organisations, information on schooling etc. take care and lots of love to jovie.

CarrieSeptember 7th, 2011 at 6:27 am

Sigh. After months of waiting and wondering, you finally know what’s going on… as your posts title indicates, in so many ways your journey is just beginning! Sending you big, big hugs! I’ve been thinking about you all day.

Auntie LizSeptember 9th, 2011 at 12:43 pm

Tracey, I have been following this leg of your parenting journey very anxiously and can only imagine the roller coaster you’ve been on. The waiting must have been torture! If you’re anything like me, being able to finally put a name to this must feel like a huge relief, even though you are facing big, unexpected challenges. Jovie is lucky to have such a loving and supportive family, and I have no doubt there are wonderful resources and experts available to you as you face “part 2″ of the story. Hang in there, Mama.
Sending you all my love and virtual hugs from a gazillion miles away. :) xoxoxo

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