Zach has been very clingy lately. We have noticed he seems extremely lethargic. He used to be such a high energy boy! I want them to run an iron test on him to check for anemia. It runs in both sides of the family. I want it checked. My one therapist suggested I have him checked for mono - her son was quite young when he got it. I remember my stint with mono was really terrible - and it took a pharmacist to diagnose it since the doctor blamed it on a sinus infection, gave me antibiotics, and it promptly gave me a reaction.
Meanwhile, we had a trip to the dentist this afternoon. Zach's first. I was sweating bullets. At school, they wrote a program and have been daily reviewing it with him on keeping his mouth open, letting someone touch his teeth, saying ahhh, etc. Well the work paid off - he did terrific! We work with him at home to get him to brush his teeth and floss, and he likes it. But there was a time when he wasn't so thrilled. I am so proud of my little bugger. I keep on imagining being in his shoes - he has no idea what we are talking about and all of the sudden we bring him to a strange place with lots of strange people, then we throw him in a weird chair that moves all around and shine a spotlight in his face. Then two strange people start poking around in his mouth. I wonder how he didn't clamp down!? LOL Anyhow, his teeth are beautiful shiny white now and cavity free. HURRAY! A good one for the books.
But then there was last night. I don't know what got into me. Besides this blog and the occasional therapist, I don't have the opportunity to chit chat much with people. I think I need to more. Probably the reason I blog is to get some things out of my system. Unfortunately, last evening, during our parenting class, I got revved up and let it loose. I am so embarrassed. I didn't even realize that I did that until Steve told me I hijacked the doctor's meeting. I am not even sure what happened or why. I just know that I pontificated on a few points about being given a hard time trying to get ABA services. I also discussed the reputation ABA has in our area and around the country. We discussed insurance coverage and insurance reform in New York state.
I am not really sure what got me going. The doctor showed an overview from the National Autism Center on a publication on Identification of Best Practices for Autism. I had seen a publication on this information before from one of our therapists. The review identified four categories of treatments: established, emerging, unestablished, and ineffective/harmful treatments. I think I may have been bothered about this information because of the insinuation that ABA is the only way to go. Mind you - we are doing ABA and I think it is the right thing for our current situation. But while ABA has shown to be the most effective treatment, its efficacy is still limited. It is not the silver bullet. With this in mind, I think if a family is attempting to help their child by pursuing another avenue, why chastise them? We have chosen to pursue ABA as our primary since its efficacy is higher for more children than other methods. We have also decided that Zach has other medical issues that may be impacting his symptoms of autism, and we are pursuing them using typical western medicine and integrative medical treatments to include supplements and dietary restrictions. We also attempt to address Zach's obvious sensory issues (wanting to jump, feel deep pressure, etc.) by allowing him to jump on a trampoline and teaching him the verbal requests for "squeeze" and "hug". These are the only sensory issues we have been able to observe that he needs. I also know that since we began the GFCF diet with Zachary, his spontaneous, eruptive vomiting has greatly diminished.
We have given plenty of opportunity for the medical establishment and "autism" experts to address our particular issues.