Sensory Processing Disorder. SPD.
It's not an official diagnosis at this point, but that would require a developmental evaluation, and the wait list for that is over a year. So it's our working diagnosis.
We have now consulted with two occupational therapists, the one from the private clinic and the one from the province. Both have said that Scooter's problems are a result of his problems in integrating and filtering sensory information. This is not 100% rock-solid and the second OT conceded to Trillian that there is a chance that we are looking at autism. It's the first time we've had a professional not outright dismiss our concerns (though, to be fair, we didn't specifically ask the first OT). But she told us to go through several months of speech and occupational therapy first to see what improvements there are. She also mentioned that the private clinic we're using is probably the best set-up we can find, especially when one considers that the wait for the provincial help is at least a year--and even then it still wouldn't be covered by insurance for Scooter's situation.
I will write more about sensory processing disorder soon, but right now I am comforted by our ability to put a name to what we're facing and by the knowledge that we've made good choices in the support we're putting together for Scooter. In the few weeks he's been going to therapy, we've already noticed improvements in his mood, confidence, and social interactions. I'd be lying if I said it was all rosy--he's also taken to chewing on his clothing as a method of calming himself. But the combination of defining the problem and seeing small improvements gives me a new sense of hope and direction. And that, I'm discovering, is huge.