Ok, so.

I keep going back and forth in my mind on whether or not V. might be “spectrummy.”  As you’ll see if you click on the link, I’ve been browsing autism spectrum disorder blogs, which is where I got the term.  And I’m so thankful that ICLW (even though I don’t participate myself, I just can’t take on another commitment) created a link between the IF blogging world and the ASD blogging community, I don’t know how long it might have taken me otherwise to find these bloggers.

Spending all day, every day, with V. is a new thing for me, and I’m seeing her in ways I don’t know that I did before.  To cut myself some slack, we did have a LOT going on this summer – high-risk pregnancy, new baby, moving a quarter of the way around the world.  Anyway, during her naps I’ve been reading stuff on line about autism and Asperger’s syndrome, and like I said, I keep going back and forth in my mind – I read one thing and think “oh yeah, that sounds familiar,” and then another thing that’s completely not part of our experience.  But then there’s a great deal of diversity within the spectrum, so that’s inconclusive.

We’re in Albania.  I’m sure there are specialists here who could procure a diagnosis, but in English?  How would you possibly evaluate a speech delay in a foreign language??

V. is adding new words to her vocabulary every day, and she has finally started combining words – but just nouns and adjectives – “black shirt,” e.g. – not nouns and verbs.  She uses verbs, like something falls and she says “fall,” but she doesn’t say “book fall,” for instance.  She’s almost two and a half.

The other thing I’m uncertain about is pretend play – she doesn’t seem to really get it when I introduce elements of pretend into our play, although she does pretend certain things – she’ll pretend to drink out of an empty cup, and pretend to feed her stuffed animals.  That’s about it.

As for reciprocity, today I got her to take turns with me playing hide & seek, very briefly.  But most of our games consist of each person having a different role – like I throw her a stuffed animal, and she pushes it through the space between the table and the wall, one by one until the whole pile of toys is under the table.  Does that count?  I have no idea.

So anyway, I’m trying to really pay attention to the finer nuances of her play and verbal interactions, and to encourage the stuff she’s behind on, and lavishly praise her when she does new things and takes steps forward.

She is so precious to me.  Her smile and giggle make my day, her tears break my heart.


6 Responses to “Ok, so.”

  1. Autism Mom Rising Says:

    Hello. My heart goes out to you. I remember being where you are just five years ago. If there is any way I can be of any assistance to you let me know. I don’t know if you’ve found the Autism Blogs Directory, but maybe that could be helpful to you.


  2. Megan (Best of Fates) Says:

    It must be so hard to go through that in a foreign country where you don’t feel as though there’s help readily available. I hope there’s a military base or expat community you can find who can point you in the way of English speaking help. I’ll definitely keep you in my thoughts.

  3. KWombles Says:

    I hope you’ll find lots of folks to read and share your journey with at the autism blogs directory; we’ve lots of parents who’ve worried about the same kinds of things and there’s lots of support and friendships to be found at the blogs listed there.

  4. Rachel Says:

    I really have no idea what this must be like for you, I know nothing about autism.

    For what it is worth LG is nearly 3 and we know several people with kids around his age. They seem to be all over the board as far as speech and how they play.

  5. tara Says:

    Can she be really assessed at this point? I thought it usually happened at an older age. Rachel is right that kids are all over the place with parallel play/ speech at this age, but yea, there are things that I’d be concerned about.

    I know my sister wishes she had gotten Wes earlier intervention with his speech development- but again, I don’t know- when do you need to get that intervention? I’m mean he got help last year in kindergarten is doing much better.
    It seems like you have so much happening right now, that unless there’s a pressing reason, letting it go a few months is probably best for you as family.

  6. K Says:

    Blessings on this new journey!

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