Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Therapy First, Optometry Later

Hello my lovelies!

I hope all is well and that the weather has been treating you as well as it has been treating us. While I detest spring with its multitude of pollen, weather changes, and the bugs I am rather fond of its' thunderstorms.

I should have my butt kicked for taking so long in updating. We switched internet and cable providers. Charter was more than a little awful!

 Caleb has had a very interesting couple of weeks. He had his very first therapy appointment May 1st. It went amazingly well. The therapist we saw worked with all four of us and made sure we had the networking and support tools we needed. Caleb was in pure heaven. She dumped a tub of stickers on the floor and turned him loose with a piece of paper.

She listened to our concerns and answered our questions. Suprisingly she picked out the one question I was terrified to ask. Was it something I did during my pregnancy or the circumstances of his birth that led us down this path? It is a silly question I know but I had to ask it or it would have driven me crazy.

The answer was no. She went into some medical studies with us as well. Studies show that people with Autism Spectrum Disorders brains are literally made differently than those without it. Their brains work just as well as most everyone elses but the information takes a different route causing them to seem slow or less intelligent. That simply isn't the case.

We discussed Calebs options pertaining to medications and his therapies and where we went after this. In the end we made another appointment with her for June just to check in. It is safe to say that we left that appointment feeling a little more secure in our abilities to take care of him the way he needs.

The very next day Caleb has his very first optometry appointment. Yes, I finally got his crazy eye checked out. Bless his little heart he has been miserable lately with his sinuses and eyes. He was coming to me a few times a day telling me his eyes hurt. I finally strong armed his pediatrician into referring him out to see someone. It was a good thing too. After all was said and done I was told something I already knew. He needs glasses. I snorted and told him to tell me something I didn't already know.

Caleb has a condition known as Accommodative esotropia. Here is the clinical definition of it.

"Accommodative esotropia is often seen in patients with moderate amounts of hyperopia. The hyperope, in an attempt to "accommodate" or focus the eyes, converges the eyes as well, as convergence is associated with activation of the accommodation reflex. The over-convergence associated with the extra accommodation required to overcome a hyperopic refractive error can precipitate a loss of binocular control and lead to the development of esotropia."

I felt so bad for the little man. Bless his little bones though he did so well! Not a single meltdown, bite, hit, scream, or pinch. My dad, Caleb's grandfather, also has the same exact condition. He can use each of his eyes independantly of the other which is kind of cool. He has excellent control over his little eyes. I was torn between feeling bad for him and being proud. When one eye gets tired he can focus the other to take up the slack. Basically what this all boils down to is that he needs glasses. We are starting him off on a pretty tough prescription for them. The optometrist tells me to expect him to be really disoriented for a few days until he gets used to them.

Caleb has taken it in stride like the little champ he is. I couldn't be prouder of him. Everything is so simple in his little mind.

So that is the latest with Team P. Next week we see Caleb's psychologist again to finish his referrals and enroll him in EFMP and get the results of the tests he took a couple of weeks ago. We also have a sensory friendly movie to see next week (a fabulous event put on by the local theater in support of our special little people) and our second meeting with the ASNC.

Tonight I want to leave you with a set of indicators  in children with ASD that happen later on in their development. Just keep in mind that every case is different :)

Later indicators include:

  • impaired ability to make friends with peers
  • impaired ability to initiate or sustain a conversation with others
  • absence or impairment of imaginative and social play
  • stereotyped, repetitive, or unusual use of language
  • restricted patterns of interest that are abnormal in intensity or focus
  • preoccupation with certain objects or subjects
  • inflexible adherence to specific routines or rituals.
In the end I say that no one knows a child better than his or her parents or guardians. Only you know when or if something is an issue. Please don't be alarmed if a child close to you exhibits these symptoms the child you know and love is still in there. . they just need a little extra help.

I LOVE my Caleb just the way he is. He is crazy, funny, smart, loving, kind, protective, and an absolute joy to all of us. He amazes us more every day. Some days I sit back and watch him and I can't help but bow my head and talk with my God.

"Lord, thank you for this amazing gift. I can't believe that I get to be his mommy"

Until next time,

One very blessed mom.