Saturday, February 18, 2012

Time to Vent!

This morning I just need to vent! What better place to do it then my blog! 
Over the last few months, we have been trying to get our son the therapies he needs to help him prosper in life. We took him to an Occupational Therapist for an evaluation, shortly after he was first diagnosed with Aspergers. She did the eval, and told us he didn't have any major deficits in his fine motor skills, he did however have sensory processing disorder (SPD). She then went on to say, that in order to help him with his SPD, she would need to see him on a daily basis, which was not feasible. We left, bewildered and clueless, as this was all so new. Fast forward a few months. After a gradual ,yet severe regression in our son, we sought out a second opinion with a new psychologist. Our son was now diagnosed with Autism. Mild, yet autism just the same. The new psych told us to go back to the OT with his new diagnosis, in hopes that she would treat him. The morning of the appointment, the first thing she says to myself and my son, is NOT "hello," or "good morning," but, "I don't understand why you're here." Let me interject for a moment. My son is an AWESOME judge of character, always has been. He can read people better than jaded adults who have learned a thing or two about the way of the world, and the people in it. When he first met this OT, he was very stand offish. When my son meets you, he either likes you, or he doesn't. If you ask him why, he will tell you, "it's a feeling." Now on this morning, as soon as she said that, his whole demeanor changed. He went from happy and smiling to frowning and nasty. He was all over the OT room, he wouldn't sit still (worse than normal). She then decided (probably to make me happy) to do some more testing. This time she was testing his visual perceptions and memory. This hour long test was hell. LJ was so rude, telling her, "your breath is fousty." "You're boring and mean." Now my son is not always an angel, and he is blatantly honest, but I had NEVER seen him act quite like this. I also have to admit, that I had a really hard time telling him he was being inappropriate, because in all honesty, aren't we all at times jealous of the innocent honesty that our children can get away with? You'd be lying if you said no. That there hasn't in fact been a time in your life that you would have liked to tell someone (ie: your boss, your inlaws), exactly what you thought and felt in the heat of the moment. Though your better adult judgement and proverbial "filter" stopped you in making this major faux pas. Also, during this extremely long test, at no time was she encouraging my son. ASD or not, EVERY child needs positive reinforcement when asked to do something out of their norm. The "professional" couldn't be bothered, so as usual, it was me cheering him on. Only towards the end did she start to positively reinforce him. Either out of despair in trying to get this done and over with sooner, or out of fear for the eyes, searing into her soul, every time she happened to glance my way. When all was said and done this time, she now informs me, "unless your son has difficulties in fine motor skills, I can't help him." STRIKE 1: First visit we are told it "wasn't feasible to provide him with daily therapy for his SPD. STRIKE 2: After subjecting our son to that series of hellacious tests, she has now changed her story to, "without the FMS delay, I can't help him here." Oddly enough, as I was writing the draft of this yesterday, (LJ was in speech therapy) she came out to go over the results of the new testing. LJ scored from 6 yrs to almost 11 yrs on these tests. To which she tells me, "there is nothing for me to help him with." First of all, has she ever heard of Temple Grandin, Thinking in Pictures??? ASD kiddos do have good visual learning and memory skills. This is not what we came to her for help with. When I asked her about helping me put together a sensory diet for him, she told me, "that is going to have to be trial and error on your part. I have no recommendations for you." ( At this moment I was mentally recommending she pucker up and kiss my arse!) So, I am left wondering, what exactly she went to school for? Why on My Autism Team, is she listed as "Autism Friendly?" Where is the friendliness, and where is her "expertise" on children with ASD? She certainly didn't seem to know squat. So, we're back to square one, at least where occupational therapy is concerned. We will be continuing to treat his SPD at home since there are no other OT's in our area.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Sensory Diets

So, again, we were told by the OT that our son does need a sensory diet for his SPD, but "they don't work with that at their clinic." Ugh, it seems we start to see the light, then someone pulls the plug! She gave me some info, which sorry to say was useless. I decided that google would help me more. I found a great site called Sensory Diet Activities with lots of useful info. Of course they warn not to do a sensory diet without an OT, but when there are none in your area, and your child is home schooled, you figure it out for yourself. I AM NOT RECOMMENDING THIS FOR ANYONE ELSE. This is based on my hubby and I's personal opinion. We did however print out the sensory checklist and go over it with his TSS for reassurance. I also printed the sensory diet, and found that many of the things we already do with LJ, just not in a routine. Now we can adapt what we know works, and do it following more of a schedule to meet his needs. If your child has SPD, I suggest checking out this site, they have many helpful things on there.

Parts of the Brain Affected by Autism

I found this picture on an Autism web site, and I thought it was interesting, and so I  wanted to share.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

More Sensory Crafts

To celebrate Autism Sunday, we decided to make sensory crafts with our son. After learning how to dye rice, and dying it yesterday, we put together some sensory crafts with the rice today. I will attach the pics of the crafts, and link them to my Pinterest where you can see how I made them. Enjoy. LJ sure had a great time making these :)

Friday, February 10, 2012

ASD and Eating Issues

I think as parents of ASD children, we are all faced with eating issues at some point. I know personally, hubby and I  struggle with this on a daily basis. Either LJ refuses to eat, is so picky in what he will eat, or he can't focus and sit still long enough to eat. I was raised that you sit as a family at the table for EVERY dinner, this is hard for LJ. Below I am attaching a link with some great ideas on things to try to over come some of your child's eating obstacles.

ASD Eating and Feeding Issues~ addressed here :)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

From AS to ASD

This week has been the worst in our life. Our son LJ had a terrible regression this past week. He has been obsessing over his thoughts, stating he "sees everything in movies, and get it out," of his mind. He has been crying, screaming, rocking and humming to calm himself down, none of which has worked. We went to his Ped. He put him on Tenex, and of course, it takes days to work. He needed something that worked now!!! The herbals supplements were doing no good. Music, massage, counting, singing, none of it worked! We had an emergency meeting with his therapists, all of whome we at a loss as to what to do. A happy, smiling child turned into a crying screaming mess in a matter of days. He won't let us hug him, kiss him, or even tell him we love him without "freaking" out. He is unrecognizable! We had had enough and were lucky to get him an emergency appointment with a new psychologist. He was diagnosed with mild autism, not AS. In a way, we were relieved. We finally had answers, we finally had more help. He is now "qualified" for more therapies, and even an ASD play program. As far as the other psych, he was trying to change LJ's diagnosis to just plain ADHD, after saying it was definately AS, and we felt like we had to argue with him to see what we saw. (You know, in the whole 15 minutes he would spend with him.) We finally have more hope, more help, and we will move forward. And so, I have changed the name of this blog to more appropriately fit our life.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Fun DIY Bath Paint

My aspie and I made these yesterday, and it was so easy, I have to share. I actually saw this on Pinterest, and saw I had the ingredients in the cupboard. My aspie does not particularly like bath time, so I thought this was a great way to get him in the tub. So here's the recipe:

DIY Bath Paint
Equal parts of Cornstarch and Liquid Soap (clear)
Few drops of food coloring
Mix, put in container with lid.
(for kiddos with sensitive skin, I recommend Johnson's baby wash)
(if your mixture seems too thick, simply add a little more soap until it is the desired consistency.)
NOTE: This can also be used as sidewalk paint :)

Enjoy. As soon as we were done, my aspie insisted on a bath, and had a blast with his paints :)