You have secretly checked off some of the “red flags”. You gently mentioned the possibility that your child might have autism to your partner in life. He or she chuckled and said “You’re worried too much.”
But you can’t shake it off your mind.
What do you do?
First of all, it is possible that you are just “worrying too much.” But it never hurts to be sure.
Second, if your child is not talking by 4 years old, it might be a good idea to find out why and how to help him or her. If your child has a small rash on the body, you would probably rush to the doctor to see if it’s anything concerning. So why would you ignore things like he’s not looking at you when you call him?
Don’t be afraid to find out what helps your child to grow and learn.
Talk to your family doctor and see if you can get a referral for a developmental pediatrician. Or try to find the government agency that handles developmental screening. Most of the agencies do not require a doctor’s referral.
On the first appointment, try to forget how good a parent you are. Bring your child out in the most natural way. If your child has a hard time dealing with waiting or a strange office, allow him or her to cry in the clinic and try your best to show how you cannot comfort him or her with your most soothing voice. This is to show the professionals what you are dealing with at home by yourself. Let them determine whether the child’s hard time is typical or not.
What your child might have is beyond what you are able to help with. And that’s why we are looking for professionals’ help. Being a mother is a learning process. Unfortunately, every child is a new course. What you learn from your previous children does not always work on others.