Monday, June 1, 2009

This and That

First off, for all you moms and dads who have little ones with Autism read this because I think it could really give you a little hope despite things you are or aren't doing for your kiddo.

Go, read it, and then come back, I'll wait...tra la la la!....Cat! Get off the sink! Casey, don't chew on that! Stop! ugh.....

Okay, sigh.....oh sorry, you're back...yeah, so anyway, did that make ya feel good? I have to atest to it, Casey seems to get better every year, speech wise, independence, how he carries himself, all that. He still has a ways to go, but he's come so far, and I believe that most of it is attributed to age, experience, maturing. We have given him vitamins, lots of vitamins, tried the diet, done some therapies, mostly at school, and lots of love, but age has been the biggest "magic bullet" I believe. So, despite all the things that are yet to come, there have been so many things that have gone away, thank GOD!

Having said that, with age has come anxiety for Case. He's been experiencing it mostly in the form of saying he's hearing voices in his head, and allowing them to drive him to the point of crying. Another anxiety I think I've mentioned before was his problem with the year 2009, he hates it for some reason. Of course, he hated Saturdays for about a 6 month period, and he's over that now thank God again (he actually said to himself in the toilet at the library last Saturday "I used to hate Saturdays but now I think they're really cool"! Supports the age issue above I think, our attempts never helped, he got over it on his own for sure!) These are the two anxieties that have stood out.

So, we took him to a doctor here who I had heard about for years, all good things. I have known of her since he was around 3, and known a good many parents who have taken there kids there. She's a medical doctor, I'm done with going to a DAN focused doctor. The appointment was interesting, and long story short, she gave me two options for dealing with Casey's Autism as a whole: either try meds, or explore and stick to biomed with her support.

I really respected her at the point she said with no hesitation that in all her years of treating kids with Autism, biomed or otherwise that she has never "cured" one, nor has she seen a child who has been cured. I respected her even more when she said she didn't look down upon parents who chose the medication route over biomed. Biomed is a huge commitement and she understands that. And with that, she prescribed Wellbutrin and told me to make an appointment in 6 weeks after trying the Wellbutrin, and we'll let her know how that goes and if we want to persue the biomed stuff.

Well, it's been over 3 weeks since then, and I still have not tried the Wellbutrin. I immediately got home and started reading about it online, and honestly, I can't find anything good about it pertaining to Autism, nothing. If you have something to offer, please do so. Plus all the stuff that it can cause, including thoughts of suicide, really frighten me. So, other than a really good fish oil supplement that I found that she thought he could benefit from for his skin, I have given him nothing.

On another note, allow me to brag for a moment 'cause lets be honest, we don't get to brag as much as typical parents.

This morning, we were watching the news over breakfast, his choice, and they mentioned the date March 17th as the day of something happening. He goes "They said March 17th!" and I said "Yeah?" wondering what significance it held for him. He answered, "That was a Tuesday!". Really? I walked over to the calendar, and indeed it was. I started spouting off dates, one after the other, to which he would reply the exact day it fell on with no hesitation! I was a little breathless honestly, I really was not aware of this skill he has (yeah, it's a splinter skill, whatever, it's a skill and it's cool), and I couldn't stop asking him different days. He was never wrong on one, nor did he have to think more than a moment to answer. Wowzer! Do your kids have such skills? I bet they do, please share in the comments section if you can.

I think I was so surprised about this because he hasn't really displayed a skill like this since he was little and put the US and ABC puzzle together in minutes and he was only 2 or 3 years old. Also, his math skills are so awful, at least on paper and trying to do homework, that I have to wonder if he is doing this mathematically or does he literally have the calendar page memorized in his head? I wouldn't be surprised if it was the latter.

One more thing, I have been reading an awesome book called "A Regular Guy-Growing Up with Autism" by Laura Shumaker. You really must read it. I have to confess, I don't read much more than stuff on the internet and magazine articles, so it says a lot that I have commited to this book. It's so interesting, relatable, honest, funny, sad, all that. I like it because for the first half, I could relate, as Mrs. Shumaker's son is growing up, but now I'm at the point of learning, as she recalls his years from around 13 on. I can't wait to find out what he was like as a teen and now. Please, please, please read it. You won't regret it!