We are in Spokane right now. Gabriel had his doctor's appointment with the pediatric neurologist yesterday.
It didn't really go the way I had hoped/imagined.
Our doctor was fabulous. She immediately evaluated the MRI and said everything from the MRI looked great. From there she continued with her own evaluation on Gabriel. She played with him, trying to engage him. She thumped on his knees, his legs, his elbows and his wrists, she tried to get him to grab toys and so many other things. I would say for the two hours we were there, her hands were on him for 45 minutes to an hour.
The whole week leading up to this appointment, I have kept telling myself everything will be fine and that, hopefully, it was a developmental delay related to diet. But, the more questions she asked and the more I listened to our answers, the heavier the pit of my stomach got.
We don't have any definite answers right now but this is what the neurologist told us:
He is very delayed. Gabriel will be one in 3 weeks and right now he is developmentally right around a 6-month-old. In her evaluation and questioning, she said he does exhibit some autistic mannerisms and it would be best for us to get a genetic test very quickly to determine if it is autism. He also needs to begin therapies immediately: occupational, physical, speech etc.
I am so sad. When you hope for children or are pregnant with them, you always have that sneaking fear at the back of your mind that something could go wrong. I cried yesterday for my little Gibby who should be running and talking right now but is instead held back. As a parent, I feel guilty and so scared for his future.
What is to come:
The next step is to get the genetic test. There is a great geneticist in Helena who will do this, so that eliminates more travel. Less than a week from tomorrow, Gabriel will have already seen an occupational therapist and a physical therapist. The sooner we get him working, the better his outcome will be. It was suggested that Jeff and I also get a genetic test done to figure out where the problem is, this would be important if we want to have any more children.
Some good things:
He has hit milestones he wasn't hitting three weeks ago.
1. He started rolling everywhere. This is huge because 3 weeks ago he wasn't.
2. He is sitting up more than he was 3 weeks ago. Still needs support and assistance at time, but this is better than the not sitting up at all.
3. He started holding his bottle on his own. Yeah!
Our doctor told us at this moment, we stop comparing him to all other kids his age. He is progressing, though slowly, and it is important we celebrate the milestones he does hit with lots of praise.
We will continue working with him as we have been since he was born and now we will hopefully be getting him the help we need.