The 3di test……
Today we sat the 3di diagnostic test for spectrum disorders. Interestingly it isn’t used to diagnose, more to give evidence towards diagnosis, which is done by the consultant, well in our case this is whats happening.
So today I thought I’d write about our experiences of this. Today’s post will be about me and my hubby as the children stayed with their Nana all day. Maybe someone who is starting their diagnosis journey will find this and it will give them some insight, maybe you will relate with how we felt, maybe you will have some advice for us….
So we dropped the kids off at 9am, an early start for the school holidays. Then off we drove to find the children’s centre and meet our nurse practitioner who deals with our family.
The test was as expected, long and detailed. Basically what happens is they ask you lots of questions about your child and their behaviours and experiences. We also had to rate the severity of some of her difficulties and pick things from lists. All the information is typed into a computer program. In total the test took about 3 1/2 hours and I am pleased to report there was plentiful tea and coffee on offer.
To be honest it was a great experience, talking through all of Piper’s strengths as well as her weakness’s had us almost welling up at points with pride for our wonderful daughter. It helped us to see a bigger picture of Piper as a whole person, not just her autistic aspects, but also to see that those autistic aspects were part of her as a whole, if that makes sense. In other words, without her autism, she wouldn’t be Piper.
Sometimes I found myself talking about something that sent a chill through my being. Talking about how others perceive her, or have in the past upsets me sometimes, our experiences have not always been positive. Also talking about her lack of stranger danger and separation anxiety, the fact that we have lost her on numerous occasions This still terrifies me to think about, what if next time we don’t find her?!
At another point though we found ourselves laughing. Not laughing at her, or at her behaviors. But laughing about her endearing personality. She really is a little corker my daughter and if you give her the time, understanding and patience she needs you will meet one of the smartest, funniest little girls ever and you will fall in love.
It was also one step closer to a formal diagnosis, although we have pretty much been given an unformal one already. Not saying that we NEED a diagnosis, after all to us she is just Piper and we accept her for who she is. But in order to access some of the extra help she may need and in order to educate our family members we need a diagnosis.
I am still met by both strangers and family members with such helpful comments like:
“are you sure she autistic”
“what makes you think that”
“oh, she’ll grow out of it”
“but she can talk, so she must only have a little bit of autism”
None of these things are helpful, they all make you feel like your being challenged about your own child. Because obviously someone who’s never met her or see’s her once a month knows much more than me about any possible difficulties she might experience on a day to day basis!
Sorry, went off on one there a bit.
So today was an interesting day, it was a step forward. But also me and hubby got to spend a few hours together without the children, this very very rarely happens. With 3 under 6 its extremely hard to find a sitter, especially one we trust. Plus with a baby that doesn’t sleep very well and Piper not shutting off till nearly 10pm each night, those few hours today were like a little holiday.
Being a parent is a 24 hour job, especially when they’re young. Being an autism parent can be 24 hours then some. This can have its toll on adult relationships. But I am not complaining, I wouldn’t change my babies for the world, its hard work but as with most things in life, the harder you work the better the result. we work bloody hard and my babies rock!!
Here’s a little pick of me and hubby on our wedding day, just being us. See you tomorrow…….