What a relief to meet with Cheri again! Since she is an Early Childhood Educator and mother to a gifted Asperger’s son, she understands us. Last fall she advised me when I was having problems with our speech therapist. Cheri was a breath of fresh air and a burst of positive energy. She observed Liev, connected with him (and me!), and declared that he while might be “different,” he was still “okay.”
She gave me advice and tips since Liev does have autistic traits. Two weeks later, he was talking. Hmmm? Because of her? I suspect he followed his own internal schedule, but her attitude and encouragement helped me feel more relaxed and confident. Those two weeks felt like the blink of an eye.
Anyway, we had a long and fruitful meeting. She spent two hours with us in the morning, filling out the Hawaii Early Learning Profile used by her center. Liev was not only on his best behavior, but he brought out his reserve of extra cuteness to boot. We noshed on cinnamon rolls and sipped tea while the questions rolled on. At 11:30, she took off for another appointment and came back at 1:15 to finish and generate a treatment plan. What dedication!
At the end of our marathon meeting, she told me that Liev has scattered skills and abilities that fit no specific profile in the autism spectrum. Much of his behavior is age appropriate. In fact, numerous cognitive skills are exceptionally advanced. And he has little islands of strangeness. She said that nothing screams autism, but he is different enough to benefit from services—early help with socialization might help him avoid being a kid that others will single out. Whether he receives services is up to our family.
So, I said, sure! We worked out a plan where she visits once every 4-6 weeks. Cool! I feel supported, less stressed, and confident that our family is following the right path. Yay!!!