“I think we need to get Catelyn help.”
A statement my husband and I must have repeated to each other for about a year, yet we danced around the issue.
Why did we hesitate for so long?
In my previous two posts I looked at the topic of why boys are diagnosed with autism five more times than girls. Those posts can be found here:
Researching the information available for those posts, I learned that girls are not diagnosed with autism as frequently as males for a couple of reasons.
- Autism Spectrum Disorder looks different in boys than in girls, and learned of the need for there to be different diagnostic material for the gender differences
- Girls are not referred for a diagnosis, and therefore do not receive supportive services or treatment.
For us, every time we asked the question, “Should we call for help?” the following thoughts would become exposed:
Are things really that bad?
Are we just over reacting?
Are we bad parents?
Is this “giving up?”
Maybe if we just tried harder? Maybe if we tried a different parenting tactic?
Maybe she was just tired. Stressed. Overexcited?
Finally, instead of asking my husband if we should get Catelyn help, I asked Catelyn if she would like to talk to someone.
So I sat down and flipped my insurance card over. Called the behavioral health number on the back of the card and began to search for a child therapist.
Who to Call
In a previous post, I discussed the question “Does my Child Need Help? Who do I Call?” and feel that reiterating a part of that post here, would be useful:
“Hopefully your child’s Pediatrician gave you a referral. If not, you can always talk with them about your concerns and they can give a you one.
If the catalyst for help comes from another source, remember age is a huge factor in who you call.
If your child is 2 years old or younger you call for Early Intervention services. If you would like the number to call for your area in the United States, check this map here.
If your child is 3 years old or older you would call your local public school system.
The CDC has a lot of information on milestones and referrals, which is found here.
If you personally feel behavioral health assistance is required, turn your insurance card over and call the behavioral health number listed to be referred to a therapist or agency in your area.
Maybe you have alternate concerns. As a parent you know your child has special needs and/or a disability that requires more attention than the county, school or private practice can offer. Or maybe they can help and you just cannot find your resource. The Center for Parent Information and Resources is a great tool to offer you information and direction. To find parent information and resources in your state, click on your state in the map provided here.”
Having provided the link to the CDC on milestones above, and what to do if your child is not meeting those milestones, I feel like adding information about Asperger’s or High Functioning Autism would also be useful.
Kids with Asperger’s may have milestone delays, but they will be minor and easy to overlook (Morin, 2017). Since kids with Asperger’s can go undetected until their school age years, it is important to know what to look for.
And now we know, what to look for by gender:
Saying “I need help” or “we need help” is not a bad thing. As a parent, I need to make sure my kids know that.
I want my kids to be able to say, “I need help.” I also want Catelyn and Declan to be comfortable with a diagnosis. Not to let a diagnosis define them as a person, but help them understand more about themselves. To be okay being the person they were created to be.
I talked with Catelyn about High Functioning Autism and her feelings about being on the spectrum. Find out what she had to say in the posts ahead!
Morin, Amy “Developmental Milestones for Kids with Asperger’s Syndrome” Our Everyday Life, Leaf Group Ltd., Jan 2017, 20 Jan 2017