A few months ago Jacob began to self-stim. For people that don't know what I'm talking about self-stim is when a person does something to comfort themselves. It is sometimes a child sucking their thumb. Jacob's case was a bit different. He would chuckle to himself and make body movements as well as vocalizations. The issue with self-stim is that sometimes the person is escaping into their own little world and it is hard to get them to join into the rest of the world. He would do it non-stop if allowed. I was frustrated at the time and did what I knew and spent time in his face playing with him so that he couldn't escape into his own little world. Eventually it pretty much disappeared. However I realized that what brought it on was my going back to work and then I realized that when he did it when I first met him he was coping with all the change going on, not that it was part of who he was, like how I thought.
So to help me to help him cope with change better I had made a self referral to a program called CASA, they deal with infants and children under the age of 4. You meet with counsellors and psychologists and they do an in depth assessment of the child and situation.
Today was our day to go. It was a 2 hour assessment filled with questions and observation. The end result is that Jacob has had trauma in his life with all the changes but that now his adjusted to the current situation. He may for years to come have anxiety about situations that he doesn't know everything about. He is delayed in his speech but is making leaps and bounds with it and is catching up. He likes to chew on hard toys which I need to replace with gum, and either than that he is a normal little boy and all of these things are normal things in other kids as well.
So why did I feel the need to go through this process?? Because we do go to speech and one of the aides that we deal with, the minute she heard self-stim, assumed he had autistic traits. Now the drawback of small town supports is that they see a limited number of children and don't really see the worst case scenario kids. So my opinion is that they are looking for what is wrong with the kid and assuming more than it really is. Versus the city where they see those kids that are really really high needs, so seeing a kid like Jacob to them is just a normal developing little tyke, no issues. So I can now take the report that they will send me to speech and say, no autism, no issues, only speech so lets do what we're supposed to be here to do, work on speech, not diagnosing my son, who is PERFECT!!!!!