Over the past few months we've noticed an increase in odd behavior from our oldest daughter Willow. She chews on her clothes, put toys in her mouth, licks non food objects like bathtubs, poles, pools and has even unscrewed the lightbulb from a lamp so she could suck on it like a pacifier. She refuses to eat her food unless it's ice cold, only takes cold baths or showers and will spend hours a day washing her hands.
Recently we took her to Chuckie Cheese and she ran into a little girl. The girl fell over and Willow just kept going. She doesn't actively seek out other children to play with. She loves her sisters and her cousin and will occasionally play with the children at her speech therapy office if she knows them. She has to see a child 5 or 6 times before she'll consider approaching them. She's obsessed with blocks and puzzles and will spend her entire day playing with them if you'll let her. It often takes us calling her name 10 or more times before she will acknowledge you. I expressed some concern to her speech therapist and she recommended seeing her pediatrician about getting her an evaluation to see an occupational therapist.
I brought her in for an appointment with her pediatrician who immediately agreed to an occupational therapy evaluation. She then asked if we had ever done the MCHAT test with her, which we hadn't. The MCHAT is the in office test for Autism. The give you a sheet with a bunch of questions and you circle yes or no depending on fix your child does and activity or does not do it. Once you've finished your pediatrician will tally up the score. If your child fails the test they most likely fall somewhere on the Autism Spectrum and will need further testing. Willow failed the MCHAT.
Now our understanding from doing some research is that the MCHAT has a high false negative rate but a false positive is pretty rare. We're taking her to see a pediatric neurologist to have her evaluated so we can get an official diagnosis. In the mean time she's had her occupational therapy evaluation and she'll be starting as soon as the pediatrician and her insurance approve it which will most likely be in the next two weeks. This is going to be a long road but we're getting closer to her getting the help that she needs.