This is James, 7 (possible Autism)
Hello, my name is Lissa and I have 2 beautiful boys. James is 7 (possible Autism) and Daniel is 2. James was diagnosed with severe ADHD when he was 3 years old. It was so severe that he couldn’t manage without meds. About a year later he was diagnosed with Juvenile Epilepsy.
When James was 2, I noticed he would stare at the upper right hand corner of the ceiling when we asked him to look at us. One day when he was at the neurologist, he was unable to look where the doctor wanted him to so the doctor had to send him to an eye doctor so they could look behind his eyes. James also had trouble speaking at 2 years old. He mostly communicated through sign language and when he did speak he had trouble pronouncing words that were 2 or more syllables. James also has sensitivities to noise, tastes, and textures. He would also have mean and violent outbursts of anger. We had mentioned all of this to his pediatrician several times and it was shrugged off as his ADHD.
During an IEP meeting about a year and a half ago, the school psychologist asked us if we ever considered the possibility of James being autistic. At first my husband and I were appalled at the audacity of this man. He encouraged us to go home and research High Functioning Autism. Reluctantly I did and as I read the signs and symptoms on autismspeaks.org I began to cry. When my husband asked me what was wrong I explained that James is a high functioning autistic.
As James has gotten older the signs of Autism are far more evident. He has several workers (therapist, psychiatrist, Therapeutic mentor, In home behavioral therapist, etc.) and they all agree he shows signs and symptoms of Autism. He was supposed to be tested for Autism a year ago but he had previously had a Sensory Processing Evaluation done and, since they billed it as a psychological evaluation (which they weren’t supposed to) he was unable to get tested for another year. We were instructed to have the therapist put in another referral to get him right back on the wait list and she said she did. Once her internship us up and James got a new therapist, we found out she never put in the referral a second time for the Autism test and she also never put in the referral for in home behavioral therapy. He just started IHBT this week and he is on the wait list for testing for the end of the summer to the beginning of fall.
Since James started having the IHBT (the therapist not only works with Autistic children but she has also raised her Autistic son who is now in his 20’s) started giving me so much information that I didn’t know. Like the reason Autistic children look out of the corner of their eye is because they see better from their peripherals. I started researching other information myself as well.
I have found that “1/3 of children with autism have epilepsy.” (autismspeaks.org) I also discovered this study:
“In the study, researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital reviewed information from the National Survey of Children’s Health on nearly 1,500 children, ages 2 to 17 years with autism spectrum disorder. Their important findings included:
* Approximately 1 in 5 children diagnosed with autism had an earlier diagnosis of ADHD.
* On average, the children initially diagnosed with ADHD received their autism diagnosis 3 years later than the children who had autism but no prior ADHD diagnosis.
* Overall, the children with ADHD were nearly 30 times more likely to receive their autism diagnosis after age six.
* The delay in diagnosis proved true regardless of the child’s age or severity of autism symptoms.” (autismspeaks.org)
I will be discussing all of this and more in my blogs as well as more specific behaviors that James displays and I will be going into more detail on that. I am shocked at all I didn’t know years ago that I feel like I should have and I am shocked at how much I still don’t know. This blog is intended to help others who are going through the same thing. If you have been where I am or are currently going through this please leave me a comment, I will respond to ALL comments. Please follow my blog as well for updates and more findings.
As James’ In Home Behavioral Therapist tells me, we have a long road ahead but we will travel it together. Please travel along with us.