Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve posted. Ray went up to UC Davis to meet with the loverly and talented Dr. I. and has been sick off and on ever since.
UC Davis day was a long day. BUT…. So worth it! Dr. I. agreed with me…. MY KID IS NOT AUTISTIC!!! You don’t know how much of a relief that is for me. I’m sitting here crying. Where Ray is concerned, I feel as if a huge weight has been lifted off my back. I never truly felt that he had autism, but felt that the system was trying to push that diagnosis on him because of a few tendencies that he has (tip toe walking, language, drooling). I didn’t know what was wrong, but I knew deep in my heart that my KID IS NOT AUTISTIC.
That’s not to say that he doesn’t have some problems. Dr. I. said that if she had to diagnose him, it would probably be a mild form of DYSPRAXIA. Of course, we got home and I looked it up on the internet right away. My jaw dropped, my heart kind of did a little leap.
Yes, my boy has problems. But at least the diagnosis seems to fit the problem now.
Dyspraxia is a nuerological disorder that effects the planning, organization and carrying out of both gross and fine motor skills. Things like his having problems with a spoon, lack of talking, his “clumsiness”, his abhorrance of the tooth brush, the way he can’t draw a straight line, even the way he loves on certain textures (his wooby)… So much! Having a hard time finding anything out about helping with the motor skill part, but the speech part– some people have had a lot of success using sign language because it gives the child another way of expression and/or the cue.
(Personally, I think it boils down to a multi-sensory need for learning. I could be wrong– like I said, still starting to find out about it… But I will know more. I will! I Will!!!)
Anyhoo– So Ray and I are working on “S” right now. I have hissed it into his belly, let his fingers crawl into my mouth as I said that sound… And he can make an “S” sound. For today. I know it’s going to take a lot of work. But that’s ok!
I AM SO HAPPY!
And ok. Yah, A LOT of that happiness comes from being RIGHT!
Seriously, though. It does reinforce the point that at the end of the day, these little blessings are OUR children. If a doctor or a therapist or teacher is trying to tell you that something is wrong with your child, but it does not fit… Say something. Because we are their first, their BEST advocates. Push until they can either explain to you WHY their diagnosis is correct in a way that makes sense to you, or for another opinion.
Ray does have some “symptoms” that mirror autism.
1. Tip toe walking. Doesn’t count though, because he only does it when he’s up to no good or day-dreaming
2. The drooling. (Turns out, according to Dr. I. that it has something to do with when he’s concetrating (i.e. fine motor skill or learning) something in his brain misfires and he forgets to swallow).
3. Parallel play. He doesn’t play with other children his own age, but rather next to them. Mostly, it’s because he gets frustrated. He’s not a dummy, he just doesn’t have the tools to communicate effectively with his peers. Yet.
4. Lack of Imaginary Play. He does, actually, do imaginary play. He’ll give a stuffed animal his binky, tried to feed his snack from Dr. I to a stuffed rabbit, made appropriate noises, etc… That’s actually when she turned to me and said she agreed with me, that he is absolutely not autistic.
Now, there is a chance that at some point the doctors will be right, and we, the parent will be wrong. That’s why I said above that they need to explain it to you in a way that makes sense to you. It’s the difference between accepting a diagnosis (or a tendency to push for that diagnosis by some people) of autism, and getting a diagnosis that fits not only Ray’s symptoms, but also his personality.