Shreveport mother speaks on autistic son after years of seeking proper diagnosis

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SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) — In light of Autism Awareness Month, a Shreveport mother has finally received a proper diagnosis for her 4-year-old son who is said to be functioning highly on the autistic spectrum.

“It was like a breath of fresh air,” said Icela Williams, Addis’s mother.

“I was relieved.”

Williams says at just 10-months-old, Addis’s communication and motor functioning skills were off compared to other children his age.

“He wasn’t trying to pull up, wasn’t trying to stand; wasn’t doing anything but flat on his belly crawling.”

The mother says she felt defeated as a parent until a pediatrician gave her a referral to go to the School of Allied Health Shreveport in Summer 2020. Willliams’ prayers were finally answered.

“I just felt like I kept getting doors closed in my face and no resources that were providing me with what I needed,” said Williams.

Doctor Michelle Yetman, the clinical psychologist at LSU Health Shreveport, used telemedicine to properly diagnose Addis since the clinic was closed for eight weeks at the start of the pandemic.

“[I] explained to his parents the materials that we required to set it up as if they were to come to the clinic,” said Dr. Yetman.

Dr. Yetman says like Willams, mothers should always listen to their maternal instinct.

“She might not know what the disanosis is; she might not know the label for it, but when she really feels something is not right, she’s actually very correct.”

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