In order for Maria to be allowed into the SARRC community school she was screened using The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) exam. We signed up, showed up, and we were ready for the exam. We walked into the observation room and BOOM- Maria had an epic meltdown. She wanted to get out of that room. There was nothing I could do to calm her down. I tried for a half an hour but she wasn’t use to being in rooms with the door closed and she was having none of it.
Crap- the whole ride home I kept thinking… M you are suppose to the easy one, you should have sailed through that! I kept thinking about that and the words that the clinician left me with, “She didn’t really make a lot of eye contact. Please make sure to bring her back.” I cried and cried. Another one, we have another one.
We scheduled a repeat exam three weeks out so that I could have time to get Maria use to playing in a closed room with me inside. When her appointment time came I was beyond nervous but hopeful that we could get through the exam this time.
I was overcome with emotion watching Maria take that exam. I watched her flick the lights on and off repeatedly, I watched her over and over again try to escape from the room, and I watched her ignore the clinician. I watched and I knew what they were going to tell me; my baby girl had autism.