BamBam’s original diagnosis of autism was not very specific. Or useful. The true expert was out on an emergency, so we were dealing with the B team. The result was a pretty generic picture of what autism can be rather than the detailed and very personalized report we got from a different clinic for Zoo Keeper. But BamBam’s evaluation was first and we didn’t know any better at the time.

Sparky and I have been debating the right time to have BamBam re-evaluated for a while and landed on 2014 as the perfect time. A friend suggested her clinician because, in addition to the re-evaluation, he can do an educational evaluation for both boys on a yearly basis to make sure they’re progressing through the school system and special ed appropriately and getting all the support they need.

That sold me and it’s been on my list for a few months to call. I finally got around to it this week and was expecting a few months wait for an appointment. The doctor called me back on Friday to say that he had a cancellation for Monday, July 21, for BamBam and could squeeze Zoo Keeper in later this week (Wednesday) so that we could combine their results session and we wouldn’t have to make separate trips. Uhm, yes, please.

It’s been three years since I’ve had either boy evaluated and I’d forgotten the scope of the paperwork involved. All of the regular doctor forms, but also a seven page detailed questionnaire regarding health history, family history, developmental history, etc. When did he first sit independently? When did he pull to stand? When did he start to babble? It feels almost like taking the AP English test all over again.

Then there are the previous evaluations you have to submit so they can get an even broader picture. I have their original diagnoses and their IEPs/progress reports scanned, so they were easy enough to send, but then there are evaluations from other places. BamBam’s evaluation from the school district had been scanned, but seeing it reminded me that he’d had another evaluation before that done by the birth to three service organization, so I dug through papers to find that. When I did, I found his IFSP (IEP for the birth to three crowd – no idea why they feel compelled to call it something else) and scanned that to send as well. Then I went through papers to make sure I had all his latest therapy progress reports, which sounds easy, but is actually complicated because you change therapists and types of therapy quite a bit in five years. I ended up sending eight emails with a total of 12 files attached.

And that was only for BamBam. I’m hoping to get Zoo Keeper’s compiled and emailed tonight, and then move on to his history questionnaire. At least the family part has already been filled out.

It’s Monday afternoon and I’m in the lobby waiting for the doctor to finish up with BamBam. I spent the first hour and a half filling out more questionnaires about his interactions with the world. The BASC-2 and the GADs and two others that didn’t have names on them.

In addition to these appointments and the preparation for them, we have an ABA team meeting that overlaps with the boys’ OT this week. Wednesday’s going to be a little rough. And Zoo Keeper has a dentist appointment on Thursday to get his second cavity filled and possibly a tooth pulled, if it hasn’t fallen out before then.

I think I’m going to take a nap on Friday. A big one.

The point of telling you all this is to say that I won’t have time or energy this week to do a real post. Now that I’ve done it, though, this kind of does feel like a real post because it gives insight into the evaluation process and how that can feel like a job in and of itself.

I’ll leave you with the fun thing I intended to do in the first place. I ran across a site a couple weeks ago that allows you to download professional play performances to view. The one it was advertising is my favorite Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing. That’s cool enough, but it also starred my favorite Doctor and my favorite companion: David Tennant and Katherine Tate.

I devoured the play and can honestly say it was the best production of it I’ve ever seen. Even if you’ve never heard of Doctor Who (really? you’re missing out, seriously), I suggest you see this play. It’s amazing.

Maybe I’ll watch it again on Friday instead of napping…