So today we went back to see the paediatrician, and after asking Chris and I what we thought, she confirmed she would be giving Sasha a diagnosis of ASD - autistic spectrum disorder. Although it's a spectrum, they don't actually state where on the spectrum a child is at such a young age, as there would still be so much to develop at this age anyhow. It seemed as though she had already decided on that after our last meeting, but was not wanting to rush in and hurt our feelings, which is fair of her. As she must have experience, there's no need for us to doubt her thoughts.
So although it's not a shock, and it doesn't change anything on a day-to-day basis, it is of course a bit sad for the poor wee soul. The next step is that her report gets sent off to the Autism Advisory service, who should then contact me in 4-6 weeks to offer some support - although what exactly that will be we're not so sure of!
From all I've read so far, this is really just the start of a fairly hard slog for me to get the right kind of help and support for Sasha. I've already heard about parents' evening and groups and even day courses to go on - all of which take up extra time of course. Then there's the minefield of so called 'intervention programmes', of which ABA seems to be a fairly new but recognised one - but also fairly expensive. And of course the speech therapy is the most important in my mind, I'm really hoping that can start as soon as possible. I almost cried this evening when she was sitting on my knee at bedtime and she hopefully said the same phrase to me 3 times, but I couldn't understand at all what she was wanting (nothing part of the usual routine, so maybe it was a roundabout request for sweeties!) and so that made her upset.
So it looks like time and money is what we need now to help our little darling. One thing I think we could benefit from is some parenting course to help us discover how best to treat Tamsin through all of this - I don't want her to start resenting Sasha in any way, but it's a bit much to expect her to understand everything going on at her age.
So good job I was sitting about twiddling my thumbs before all this news ;). Will just have to cram twice as much into our everyday lives now - anyone know of a good, cheap nanny??!!