Sorry I didn't update sooner. We had our case conference on Wednesday December 1st. Then on Thursday our entire family came down with a severe gastrointestinal infection. I lost 10lbs in 2 days. So yeah, I wasn't up to posting. Thankfully we are much better today so I'm here to update.
First of all, I have to say how much I adore Nathan's school. In my last post on this subject I was angry and hurt. Mostly just feeling defensive that someone could possibly think that there is something wrong with my precious child. Basically I was throwing a temper tantrum and you all got to witness that. Anyway, after realizing that they weren't criticizing my child, I was able to see that they were trying to help me become a better mother to him.
So back to the case conference. I was a little intimidated walking in there. A giant conference table with me at the head and 6 seats were filled around me. But I felt comfortable immediately because Nathan's occupational therapist said "I'm so glad to finally meet you! Nathan brightens my day everyday." :) What better compliment is there?
So we went through the evaluation page by page. I had the whole thing highlighted with my questions and they remarked that they had never seen a more involved parent. (Again what better compliment is there?!!).
Basically what is it is this: Asperger's syndrome is difficult to diagnose at this point because he is so young and really lacks the effective communication skills. Also, Nathan doesn't exactly meet all the markers for Asperger's as he has a speech delay. Also people with Asperger's tend to have higher IQ levels and it is really hard to assess IQ in 3 year olds. So for now, Nathan's official diagnosis is Mild Autism Disorder. They are very reassured by the amount of progress he has made thus far. He is making progress in his social communication every day and we are working on ways to streamline our techniques at home so that they match the school's techniques. Consistency is what he needs at this point. The teacher did say that he will most likely make so much progress that it will be difficult to tell that he even has Mild Autism (it really is already). She thinks that this will just effect his relationships with peers in the future. Meaning that he may have to work harder to learn social skills.
So I'm encouraged. I think that at this point, it is hard to tell what will happen. He is so young. The only reason that I am allowing this label at all is because it allows him access to therapy in school. He sees speech therapists twice weekly and occupational therapists once weekly. They all communicate with me via email and Nathan's backpack. :) We are giving our therapies a year and then next year at this time, we will have another evaluation. At that point we will be able to see if he will do well in a Kindergarten setting.
He is an awesome kid. And it is nice to be able to trust that he is loved and well-cared for at school.