• Katie Vahey Gaebler

Chronology of Bryson's Diagnosis

Updated: Jan 28, 2021

I recently completed a chronology of what we have experienced en-route to B’s diagnosis, which I list below. This was actually one of the first blog posts I started back in June, and it was a lot of research to dig through past emails and texts to come up with this list, I only recently finished. It’s been a nagging thing to me to get this done and posted. There is something about it that’s simultaneously validating for how much we’ve been through on this journey so far, and that while it’s exhaustive and therefore pretty personal, I think it can be of help to other families who may be starting out this journey. We’ve been though so much in the last 6 years!


It’s most exhausting to think that I was holding down a full time job while also navigating insurance companies, therapy waitlists, and school meetings. It's as much effort as side hustle, with only recently seeing tiny steps toward anything resembling reward (the definition of side hustle!). There are people who go to work, raise their (NT) kids, and still have time to busy themselves with hobbies. Raising my kids is now my hobby, full time job, and side hustle, rolled into one. Sometimes, that’s what one job takes. And to raise a kid like Bryson, it takes all that, and a village.


My plan is to add to this list overtime to show progress, and I’m hopeful the rate of additions can slow as we get into a rhythm and routine of school and therapy. This lists reminds me that we’ve been through some of the hardest parts, what it takes to get the diagnosis is a feat. The diagnosis means we have documentation in hand to access support services. And not that it will be necessarily get easier, but that we are acclimating to what can be our normal and we can hopefully have minimal distractions from that. Routine and rhythm are part and parcel of Autism, and the less distractions and transitions the more we can operate in our normal as we need too.


OK, here we go:

Chronology of Bryson’s diagnosis

Fall 2014: Heard from B’s CCC teachers B was “different”; (about age 20months)

· delayed compared to peers learning toileting, motor skills (fine grasp, and balance), interacting with others, etc. –but speech was fine

Spring 2015: B is struggling daily at school, high energy, difficult focus

§ Monthly school meetings begin, negotiate therapy needed for him to remain at CCC

May-July 2015: B moves to school plan x2 p/week

Aug-Oct 2015: B tries x5 p/week, with shorter days (8 hrs or less), school plan

· school continues to ask for extra support resources

· insist on referral to KidsConnect

Nov 2015: B moves to x4 p/week school plan (off Wednesdays for rest)

(K starts work PT)

· Warm referral assigned to social worker Danielle Luther

Nov 11: B and K meet with Danielle first time, at home

Dec/Jan 2016: Danielle conducts series (2-3) of classroom observations

Feb 3, 2016: 3 yr well kiddo check in with Dr. Warm, discuss concerns

Feb 12: meeting with Danielle, CCC staff

· Follow up referral with ChildFind (BVSD)

March 21, 2016: Text with Danielle on ChildFind appts

April 2016: Bought home in Golden! (Moved May 8th)

§ Transition B into new home was hard

April 5: Phone call with Dr. Warm re: BCH Ped Rehab referral

April 6: BVSD ChildFind eval

April 26: Referral in to Kaiser for B to access OT at BCH

April 28: Provide BVSD ChildFind eval report to BCH

May 11: 1st JeffCo ChildFind eval

May 17: B eval @ BCH for OT

June 23: Outreach to BCH (based on urging from CCC) on when OT can start

Aug 24: First OT session at BCH with Stefani Ruben

Nov 2: Sensory Processing parents support group- Mondays 11am-1pm

· Start planning for B to attend new school, Stefani recommends Bixby

· Stefani also recommends outreach to JeffCo for retesting

· OT needs to be reauthorized. Kaiser auth good for 20 sessions p/year, only 10 at a time (then progress report). Delay in sessions due to reauthorization requirement.

Nov 4: text/email with Danielle on school recommendations, she has also heard Bixby might be beneficial

Nov 11: Text w/ Danielle JeffCo determined B not eligible for IEP

Nov 17, 2016: Stefani observed B at CCC school

Nov 20: Met with Bixby Admissions and Pre-school Directors- possible start in January

Dec 1: Submitted application to Bixby including all ChildFind and OT report

Dec 7: Bryson visits Bixby- He’s accepted!

Jan 12, 2017: Bixby application revoked

Jan 16, 2017: Stefani recommends ABA- emails possible providers

· Looked into ABA- we would need to pay out of pocket, and wide range/spectrum of service confusing to navigate

Jan 23: Emailed Gifted Development Center

Feb 4: Notice PT work schedule will be eliminated

Feb 15: 20 annual sessions for OT used up, will apply again next year

· (decided not to pay out of pocket in interim)

March 1: researched Brain Balance- not for us

March 2, 2017: Request letters from OT and Ped for accommodated work plan

May 12: Tour Broomfield academy

June 15: Brys trial day at Bixby

July 17: B starts at Bixby

Sept-Nov: a couple meetings with Preschool director Email on challenges with B

Early Nov: B in person meeting with Kaiser social worker

Nov 21: Call with Dr. Warm- follow up on Kaiser social worker (that person did incorrect referral)

Nov 22: I complete behavioral health survey at baseline clinic

Nov 27: Dr. Appt/assessment? B in person visit

Dec 4, 2017: Meet with Bixby directors, notified Bryson is struggling

Dec 7, 2017: Email with Terry Bradley (ref by Catherine Weldon)

Dec 11: Notified by email Dec 22 will be Bryson’s last day at Bixby

Dec 12: Call with Dr. Warm

Dec 13: tour Compass Montissori kindergarten

Dec 19: Tour Mtn Phoenix kindergarten

Dec 21: Bryson admitted to afternoon program at Kyffin Preschool, starting Jan 9

Dec 22: Bryson transitions out of Bixby

Jan 2018: Submit all documentation to register B for Golden Community Center spring break and summer camp

Jan: Request IEP evaluation at Kyffin

Jan 5: Register B at Mitchell

Jan 8: Bryson in person dr appt

Jan 9: Bryson starts at Kyffin

Jan 10: Intake call with BCH OT

Jan 26: 3rd JeffCo ChildFind Assessment

Jan: Submit all documentation to register B for Golden Community Center spring break and summer camp

Feb & March: Eval at Kyffin for IEP

Feb 14: Kaiser Ped behavioral health assessment

Feb 15, 2018: We have a Wesley <3

March 1: Starts speech therapy with Becky Riedo (weekly at Denver office)

March 27: Start Insights Assessments intake

March (Spring break): Emergency room visit for B- will no longer attend GCC for summer program

Aril 10: Eval meeting: determined not eligible for IEP

April: Find new summer program for B: Anderson school- starts beginning of June

May 8: Insights assessment in person for B

May 10: GT testing at Kyffin- KBIT2

May 21: Registered at Anderson for summer

May 29th 2nd in person Insight Assessments

June 6: Receive Autism level diagnosis from Insights

June 7: follow up questions: ADHD, GT testing, medication

June: Interview 3 ABA providers, we have 1 clear favorite

· “DAS (Equiv. to the WPPSI, he is too young for the WISC)

July: 2 Initial assessments by CS Shaina for Intercare Therapies, ABA provider

July 20: Outreach to Mitchell Principle, request for reassessment for IEP

Aug 16: Meet with Monika VanDerStek @Mitchell

End Aug: finish speech therapy, plans to start ABA instead

Sept 4: pre-IEP meeting with Mitchell Team

Sept 9: First day of ABA

Sept 20: IEP eligibility meeting with Mitchell team

· Complete ABAS and CARS-2 assessments

Sept 21: Safety vest agreement for general bus service transportation

Sept 26: Need to regularly provide extra snacks

Sept 27: Emergency call from Mitchell to pickup immediately

Oct: ABA routine underway- gets harder before it gets better!

Oct 1: Bryson stops using regular bus service- K dropoff in AM, Casey Pickup PM

Oct 9: B is eligible for free kindergarten tuition because of IEP status

· (will be reimbursed for Nov & Dec tuition and transportation fees, still paid Aug, Sept, Oct)

Oct 11: ABA CS Shaina observes B in class at Mitchell

Oct 30: Team meeting w/ Shaina for IEP update

Oct 31: BIP (behavioral intervention plan) meeting, plan in place

Nov: ABA gets harder before it gets better!

Nov 2: K changes jobs (apply for change of insurance)

Nov: Applied for DDRC funding

§ School day going better as routine is est according to BIP

Dec 18: IEP update meeting to discuss whether B will change schools

It’s decided by district he can attend Shelton ASD program

Dec 19: Told B about changing schools

He had many questions: “will there be potion time?”

“will snacks be available?”

Dec 20: Meet with Shaina and Conar for ABA data update: he’s making progress!

Dec 21: transition meeting with Shelton team

Dec 22: B’s last day at Mitchell

Jan 2019: Break in ABA due to insurance change and Intercare error to file with new insurance Anthem, lot’s of effort to get reinstated!

Jan 8, 2019: I take B in to visit new classroom before other students start

Jan 9: B’s first day at Shelton,

§ Home pickup transportation provided by district. I ride bus with Brys first day

Jan 2019: Brys transitions well into Shelton program

Jan 22: B celebrated his bday with his new class

Feb 11: resume ABA

Feb 20: first (communicated) major elopement since starting Shelton

March 20: B complains regularly of stomach aches. Doctor’s visit determines chronic constipation. Will take Mirilax daily

March 25: Visit JeffCo School district special ed summer programs open house. Spoke with DDRC and Camp Paha Administrators

March 27: Received financial support for ABA co-pay reimbursement from DDRC

April 15: Enrolled B in Camp Paha

May 2: Parent teacher conference- update on the term for B.

§ He has been more escalated toward end of school year, but otherwise really got into the program.

May 15: ABA progress report: Data looks as B has made progress.

§ Shaina estimates we’ll need to continue ABA until at least Dec 2019

May 23: Last day of semester

June 3: First day start for Camp Paha

June 26: Last day at Camp Paha

July 1: Change insurance to Cigna

July 4th week: Travels to Madison!

July 15: Received 2nd financial support for ABA co-pay reimbursement from DDRC

August 1: New ABA Clinical supervisor assigned: Leigh

Aug 14: First day of 1st grade in Shelton ASD program

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