I have a five-year-old son. For years his pediatrician and his school have been pushing for an autism diagnosis because he has a speech and fine motor skills delay. I’ve lost count of how many doctors and therapists we’ve shuffled through. In the last two years alone we’ve had him evaluated three times. The first was at the urging of his speech therapist. She said she couldn’t get him to engage. We were told that he was too young to tell for sure. The second was at his pediatrician’s request. She sent us all the way to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, a good four-hour drive from our home. We were told that while he does fall in the autism spectrum, he didn’t exhibit enough of the symptoms for an actual diagnosis.
When we informed the school of the results from the first two evaluations, they pretty much shit all over it. ”Well, that woman was only a neurologist for 25 years and a psychologist for 11, she’s obviously not qualified.” So they sent us to one of their doctors for his third evaluation. Lo and behold, he was diagnosed with autism, and that he now falls in the range instead of the spectrum.
My question is, is there a difference between autism spectrum and autism range? Everything I’ve read seems to use them interchangeably, and I’d like to be somewhat educated before the school says “We told you so. Na na na, boo boo.”