When our little boy was about 2 years old we started to notice some odd behaviours. If we had visitors to the house he would be nowhere to be found, quite often hidden in his bedroom, he was a definite flight risk with absolutely no concept of danger, or pain threshold. My wife, as I mentioned earlier works in the education sector so had plenty of experience to draw on. Meal times were an issue as our son wanted to control what he ate and where he ate it. He needed one to one supervision all the time as he often tried to leave our house and cross the main road.
His language was definitely delayed and although he spoke ‘words’ we were unable to understand him and he didn’t seem to be aware of that as he was effectively in ‘his own little world’
My wife brought our little boy to the public health nurse and she immediately saw that there were several issues to be concerned with and referred us to Enable Ireland. Enable Ireland work with children from birth to six years and have a multidisciplinary team to assess your child. This is called the AON or the assessment of need. Our referral took 6 months. When we were called we had many assessments to complete, there was OT (occupational therapy) SLT (speech and language therapy) PT (physiotherapy) and PSY (psychology).
Our little boy was diagnosed with ASD and we were sent on our way, with a pamphlet and no more. To say we were devastated was an understatement and it has taken us a few years to come to terms with the diagnosis. I have to say, that when our third little boy was subsequently diagnosed with ASD we were emotionally better equipped to deal with it. We were very lucky that my wife was very knowledgeable about ASD and knew what to do next otherwise we would have been at a disadvantage.
We were referred for some parenting strategies classes and group work, we did some speech preparation classes, we had appointments with genetic counsellors and paediatricians for several underlying conditions.
These services were based at: