I keep saying how lucky we were for a diagnosis. I first picked up that something wasn't quite right with Z from a very young age. I'm lucky that my family supported, even noticed the odd thing that was different to that of a child of the same age. 

I contacted the Health Visitor first, who didn't take me seriously when Z was one. I went to the main Health Visitor and aired my concerns; the older lady told me; “oh boys are always slower than girls, stop comparing him to friends.” The other younger one said; “Give it a few more weeks and if still worried contact your new health visitor.” Which I did when Z was 18 months, she took me seriously, came to visit Z and did the two year test straight away, a few months off his second birthday. From then things moved very quickly. Language and play was brought in for six weeks starting in the August, 2014 whilst we waited on portage, which started in the September. 

His first Paediatrician appointment was booked when he was two, years four months; which was cancelled over and over. Finally we were seen at two years, seven months, May 2015. From the first appointment in May, I waited two full months for an official diagnosis of autism. 

We left that first appointment with ‘suspected autism’ we had the education physiologist do a report, portage report, and one from his 1:1 at crèche. The follow up appointment in August 2015, we walked out with his Autism diagnosis he was two years, ten months. The whole process from first contact with health visitor to a diagnosis took a year.  

I was told that it was quick as Z hadn't made any progress with speech, his eye contact was not very good with new people, the only thing that he didn't fit the 'box' of autism was his routine, he was used to going out different places, so it made him easy to diagnose. 

During the process I was told by others who had gone through it; “It could take years”, “he's young don't expect a diagnosis straight away”, “they may want to 'observe' him for some time.” 

I was extremely lucky portage advised me well, listened to my concerns and on a professional level agreed with me, which made it easier to know that there was something wrong and I wasn't being silly pushing for answers and not just waiting for him to start talking as soon as he hit three and started school as some people had told me that's what would happen! 

Having the diagnosis so young helped me get a place in a Special Education Needs school; it helped me make my mind up. There was no need for me to put him in mainstream to see how he would cope, before maybe needing to move him. 

I still think I was very lucky to go through it all as quickly and plain sailing as we did. 


Read more of Jo's blogs at First Time Valley Mam