All in all, this afternoon wasn't as bad as I anticipated :)
We met with a doctor and a nurse / play specialist. We had met the play specialist before and M really likes her. That made it all so much easier!
We spent a long time talking about M as a baby - which was a bit tricky, we've had two babies since, and M is 11, so the precise details of 10 years ago are a bit fuzzy. Then we moved on to toddler years - not much easier!
At the start of the appointment Dr Z made a point of saying that if either of them asked a question we were not comfortable answering with M there then it wasn't a problem - he could pop out to the waiting room. Mostly though we were happy for him to stay.
We did have about ten minutes with him outside, when we talked about a few things we don't think he is aware of, but the rest of the time M was happy to stay with us and correct us every now and then :)
Most of the questions were about how interested in the world around him M is, and how he interacts with others. There were quite a few open ended questions - and I think I talked a little much at those points! There were also a good number of precise questions, which I guess were to ask about specific indicators and issues.
After an hour and a bit we were all asked to wait outside for a few minutes, then about five minutes later we were called back in - the two professionals had had a brief discussion about a potential diagnosis and the way forward.
Because we home educate they felt the need to be thorough in their assessments, and there is one left that they can use - an ADOS - so even though they both felt almost sure of a diagnosis they want to do that, and then have an appointment to let us know their conclusions.
I am glad that we are nearly there - knowing that we are looking at just two more appointments is a relief. I can see that by not having the school based observations we have thrown their usual way of doing things into disarray, so I understand their desire to be thorough. As the Play therapist explained, this is a life long diagnosis, and their duty of care is to M, so getting it right is important.
Most of my worries of this morning were unfounded - when home ed did come up, it wasn't an issue at all. I wonder if that is because the play therapist knew M from the group assessment sessions, and had already discussed it with Dr Z, or if it was never going to be an issue anyway. M had the opportunity to back out if he wasn't happy, and I managed to remember enough details of his babyhood to answer most of the questions. I still can't remember whether M was a "looking around" baby or a "snuggling in" baby . . .
I would have loved to get a diagnosis today, but I'm happy with how things turned out :)