Is my child autistic? (3 things to mention to a pediatrician)
Find out what you can talk about, how to bring it up with the pediatrician, and what to do when friends and family disagree with your observations.
How many times have you heard, “he’s a boy; they talk later” or “my youngest also didn’t look at me when we played peekaboo or hide and seek?” Yes, that’s fine, and sometimes it might even be true, but parents know something is different, and it is important that that knowledge is validated and respected.
Here are three things you can mention to a pediatrician if you want them to have a better idea of why you feel your child is different from their peers:
Your child communicates differently - this might not mean that they are nonspeaking or nonverbal, but they communicate, perhaps significantly different than their sibling did at that age, or their peers do at this stage.
Special interests - you may notice that your child tends to become so hyper-focused on one or a few interests that it may seem excessive. These interests can be something age-appropriate, but the amount of time spent as well as the anxiety when these items or topics are “off the table” is different from that of their friends or siblings.
Routines are absolutely necessary. You might have to change plans over the weekend as the beach is a no-go due to the weather, and this can upset your child to the point of a near meltdown, whereas your child’s cousin, who was going to join, has found a different activity to entertain themselves.
There are more signs that you can mention to a pediatrician or just to your partner when you feel your child is different. Just know that your feelings and intuition are usually spot on, and you are the true expert.
As always, in this week's video guide, we go a bit deeper into this topic. Check it out :)
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How can Tracto help me with this?
There may be little things you notice here and there that make you wonder whether your child could be neurodivergent. Make notes of your observations in your Tracto journal - this will help you keep track of your observations and make it easy (and less daunting) to share them with a pediatrician when you talk to them. This is very valuable information for a pediatrician who does not know your child as you do!
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