We had our meeting with the nutritionist and the behavioral assessment this morning. The nutritionist said that since Remy has been on the same trajectory with his weight and height for over a year that means he is getting enough calories, and she was satisfied with the size of his meals, but she was concerned that he may have an iron deficiency and recommended testing and a supplement. She also suggested that the reason we haven't been successful transitioning to table food was because a) I was more comfortable with feeding him food I know he likes and b) we were starting him on bland table foods and he is probably more interested in flavorful foods. I think she is right. She recommended taking him to a buffet and letting him try a lot of things to see what he may like. She also recommended less snacking between meals. So that was all very informative.
The behavior assessment which followed was pretty similar to the initial evaluation we did back in November. It was administered by a sweet woman named Tracy who Remy really seemed to like. We did the M-CHAT again (Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers) and he failed again, and she also did a behavioral assessment that has two columns, one with typical behaviors and one with autistic behaviors. He had half and half. So she referred us to what they call the Autistm Clinic which means that we will do two more evaluations (different than the ones we've already done) and if he is still testing in the autistic range we will see a special pediatrician who will go over the results and diagnose him with an autism spectrum disorder, if warranted. This will probably take one to two months.
Meanwhile we will also be doing our in-home therapy. She said our service coordinator will be coming to the house every week, the BAT consultant (behavioral assessment team) will be coming out once a month, and the IA (instructional aide) will be coming four days a week! Sometimes there is a wait before the IA begins coming but we will receive comp time for that wait, (for example since we are doing 4x a week, if it takes a month for the IA to start coming that would equal about 16 additional sessions owed to us.) Of course that is not super appealing when we are already doing 4 days a week and I would rather the sessions just start as soon as possible - like yesterday.
When I brought up ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) and Rethink Autism (an internet based subscription services that provides resources and training material for parents and therapists) she said she loves ABA and that starting the Rethink Autism curriculum at home while we wait is a great idea. She said whatever we start working on at home and think works for Remy the therapist will try to implement when they start coming, so no need to wait. Our service coordinator was MIA (a whole other story, grumble-grumble) but Tracy assured us she would talk to her later today and that she would be calling us. (That will be a first. Just saying.)
So that is where everything is at right now. Ross was with me for this visit, which was good because the two of us come at this with our own unique perspectives and attitudes and the more information he can get directly from the mouths of the experts the better we do as a team. Wish me luck as I try to learn how to administer ABA myself and I will keep you posted when things get going with our in-home therapy.