Ever hear the saying "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade" ?
Ok, so here's the problem with that statement. You see, when life hands me lemons, I really want to make lemonade. Really, I do. But see, I cut my finger slicing the lemons up. And then I get lemon juice in the cut, and boy does THAT sting! And then I get blood stains on my brand new white t-shirt trying to find a Band-Aid. Then, while squeezing said lemons, I inadvertently squirt lemon juice in my eye. In shock, I rub my eye with my lemon juice covered hands, which takes a bad situation and makes it worse. I try (with my one eye) to find the sugar, I realize there is none. The sugar is all gone! So, in a hurry, I run out the door to borrow a little sugar. I stub my toe on the door jam running out. I arrive at your door, limping, one-eyed, and bleeding, asking for just a little cup of sugar.
To try and make my lemons into lemonade.
The evaluation went well. That is to say, we had it, and J-man was J-man. Not J-man at his best, to be sure... but not at his worst either. They tried to do some standardized testing, and did pretty well until he stopped complying. He did what he normally does in a new, toy-filled environment.... basically told us all to bugger off and let him play.
The Camarata's spent about four hours with us, which was very generous. After observing, testing and asking us questions, this was what they had to say:
J-man does not have 'classic' autism....
... he doesn't just have a mixed expressive-receptive language delay either. J-man is in The Middle Place. The DSM-IV calls it PDD-NOS: Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified. Dr. Camarata hates that label. He says it has become a "catch all" for kiddos who don't fit anywhere else, and is almost worthless diagnostically. And as a diagnostic label, it is going away in the DSM-V (because it is such a mess).
They did feel there is ability for "movement" on this "excessive independence" (with a lot of work), but this orientation to not engage, to be alone, is part of who he is. It could affect all of his lifelong learning.
Friendships (or lack thereof?).
But honestly, I can't remember a lot of the advice and techniques.
Because I have lemon juice in my eye, my finger is cut, stinging and bleeding, and my toe is throbbing.