Last night we met with our Psychologist to get Monkey’s final assessment report. While none of the information in the report was terribly shocking (as we were witness to all aspects of the assessment), there were a few surprises. She has been officially diagnosed as having:
- Global Developmental Delay – She is significantly delayed in language, fine and gross motor skills, and cognitive development (about 1- 1 1/2 years behind where she should be.
- Autism Spectrum Disorder with Global development delay and language impairment
We were expecting the ASD diagnosis , but not GDD. Our psychologist explained however that the developmental assessment that she did (as she did 3 different ones) looks at development on its own, and does not take the Autism diagnosis into account. Even keeping this in mind – it still means that she is further delayed than we though, which is distressing.
Our psychologist did mention however that the behaviours that she did see Monkey make mean that she is a very good candidate for IBI/ABA because she shows some rigidity, but not a lot, and she can be motivated to do tasks when there is a reward she really wants in the end. We live in Ontario, and the next step is to apply for Ministry funding of IBI therapies. The issue in funding however, is that she needs to be deemed serious enough to need IBI, but not so severe that she might not make the “proper” gains. I find this appalling and ridiculous – so while I am thankful to live in Canada where funding is available, there are so many families who simply won’t qualify for it. IBI is really the only proven treatment for Autism – especially in the toddler/preschool age group. Right now, all of our eggs are literally in this basket.
Unfortunately, IBI/ABA is not covered through either of our health benefits, and it comes at a significant cost. IBI typically ranges from $45-50 an hour, and 18-20 hours a week, which means it would cost anywhere from $800-1000 a week. To put this in perspective – we pay $1000 a month for full time daycare.
There are so many unknowns right now – but we want to get Monkey into IBI as quickly as possible. We are toying with the idea of starting her with a small amount of ABA (5 hours a week or so) just to get her in something. Anyone out there recommend this, or should we wait to see if we have been approved for funding? We are gearing up for the holidays and now that I am off work for two weeks, I know I will be spending much of it researching and trying to figure out what to do. The more answers we get lead to more questions…..