This post is brought to you by our partners As You Are.
Do you ever remember things so vividly that you can even picture what you were wearing, what your kid was wearing, the color of the walls in the room you were in? I don’t pride myself on having the best memory, even less now as a mom. You know, mom brain. However, there are those moments in life that you just cannot forget. One of those memories for me was in 2018, when my then 18 month old son was diagnosed with autism.
We knew something was different about our son when he was around 14 months. We were ordered to see different specialists to address the concerns we had. None of these appointments included a neurologist. No one we saw was equipped to give us a proper diagnosis. There were many phone calls, various doctors appointments and waiting weeks to months to actually attend the appointments. Then “that day” – the day that I remember so vividly – was the day we saw the neurologist.
Sadly, she wasn’t kind or reassuring. She didn’t ask if I needed more information on the words she was using. No one in the office even apologized for how long the appointment was. We waited weeks to only be told, “He is definitely on the Autism Spectrum”. There was no empathy, or compassion. There was no apology for waiting so long to hear the words that we knew would probably be true – yet we still needed to hear for validation. The whole experience seemed robotic. Although our second opinion experience was the complete opposite (for the better!) I really wish I would have known about As You Are.
WONDERING IF YOUR CHILD MIGHT HAVE AUTISM?
As You Are is a virtual clinic providing autism diagnostic evaluations for children ages 16 months to 10 years old via telehealth appointments. Appointments with a trained physician are readily available in Florida (and Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas!Texas!) through video calls.
As You Are is breaking geographic barriers for families who have been sitting on long waiting lists. They are helping to diagnose more children early in development which means more families are getting access to the resources they need for early intervention. As You Are accepts insurance, (you heard that right!) including Medicaid and TRICARE East.
WHAT CAN AS YOU ARE PROVIDE FOR YOU?
As You Are not only offers virtual autism diagnostic evaluations, they also have a website full of resources and tools available right at your fingertips. Caregivers can find everything they may need if they are in the very beginning stages of wondering if a child or children may have autism or if they need to find something to read that helps validate their feelings.
There’s even a checklist for everything you need in the beginning, including a team of doctors and parent advocates that are accessible and available to help you every step of the way. I believe that every autism parent becomes an advocate without knowing they are one, simply by virtue of needing to learn more. If As You Are had been around when we needed it almost 5 years ago, our initial experience would have been so different.
CHECK OUT THE AS YOU ARE BLOG
Do yourself a favor and check out the blog section of their website. It doesn’t matter if you’re new to the autism community, a friend of the autism community, or have been in the thick of it for years, I know you will find encouragement from the As You Are content. I feel pretty confident in my transparency and vulnerability in my son’s journey and this post in particular still had me very much in my feels. I am sure you’ll find something you can relate to or a great resource you can share with a friend.
REMEMBER YOU ARE NOT ALONE
This is a hard thing to remember in the toughest moments of parenting, but it’s true: you are not alone. As You Are is not only equipped with resources, and the right doctors, but they also come equipped with parent advocates to support you as well. There are parents who have been where you are, who want to help and who have a story just like you. If in doubt, if you’re the least bit concerned, even if you’re “just making sure” avoid the hassle of long wait lists and schedule your child’s evaluation TODAY.