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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Woo hoo! There was no mention of the dreaded McCarthy, so I did not have to demonstrate my crazy rapid exiting skills. There were snacks of wheat and dairy and parents talking about whipping the school district into shape. Life was good.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Kindergarten No More

I don't talk about my daughter as much as I should. She just graduated kindergarten, yay!

She's still not reading, which in earlier years would not be so much of a big deal. On one hand, I'm super grateful that my daughter gets so many extra services so soon instead of waiting until third grade to see that maybe she needs some help.

On the other hand, it's still not developmentally abnormal for her to not be reading. She recognizes letters and the sounds they make. She just doesn't put them together into words. Someday she'll get that next step, and I have my fingers crossed that she'll someday be a great reader.

Why I Hate Jenny

Tomorrow there's a meeting for the local autism society. I'd like to attend. I hope that they're not all Jenny McCarthy heads, because that would just piss me off. Not that there's anything wrong with hoping you'll find that magical solution. I hope for it, too. I'm just not going to follow after the whackish advice of someone who just a couple years ago was an "indigo mom" with a crystal child.

Jenny McCarthy claims she's cured"recovered" her son and that people now tell her he was misdiagnosed. Uh huh. Which people? Who's verified this cure? There are plenty of people who gain enough skills back to no longer be considered eligible for services, and not all of them think it was a condition caused by vaccination.

She claims that she tried anti-fungals, gluten-free casein free diet, vitamins, and "metal detox." And then she went on to give him ABA (applied behavioral analysis) and speech therapy. Of all of those things, guess what? ABA and speech therapy are the only ones that are known to work. And being the rich chick that she is, I bet she could afford the 25 hours per week of year round intensive therapy that has been shown to make a huge difference.

But if you believe her, it was the first step - the filling her kid with chemicals to remove the imaginary chemicals and bugs step - that did all the work, and the ABA and speech therapy were only effective because of it. Uh huh.

I feel like this is exactly the sort of thing that prevents us from having useful dialog about things that just might work. The developmental pediatrician who examined K said that a lot of kids with autism also had GI issues and that some of them did see improvement with gluten free/casein free diets. She figured it was hard to behave if your stomach hurt all the time and you couldn't articulate it.

I'm sure that some kids with autism really do have particular vitamin deficiencies, particularly if they have a GI issue. But that doesn't mean that everyone should megadose. At best it's ineffective. At worst, dangerous.

Yes. There are kids who have reactions to vaccines. But getting paranoid about it leads to more kids getting diseases and dying from those complications. And getting vocal about it makes the CDC have to get more vocal in the opposite direction. I'm sure the CDC does know that some kids react poorly to shots, such as kids with chicken/egg allergies. Let them do their job and find those high risk groups instead of whipping the public into a frenzy.

And also - could we stop spending so much time arguing about causes and get to the funding of therapy? I'd like my son to have his 25 hours per week, year round early intervention, thanks.

Eval, Eval

I got the formal eval back in the mail for King. His scores were:

Bayley III score: 75. Typical of a 25 month old. He is three and a half. Should be in the 85-115 range.

Communication: 6 (cutoff for autism is 4 and above)
Socialization: 12 (cutoff for autism is 7 or above)
Total: 18 (cutoff for autism is 12 or above)

CARS: 37, Range 15-60, cutoff for autism is 30.

Vineland (should be in 85-115 range)
Communiction: 59
Daily Living Skills: 73
Socialization: 63
Motor Skills: 72
Composite: 64

That's not good, but it's not awful. It means that he needs a lot of help, but it also means that he can be helped.

I had to decode a few things for my husband on the report. Like "global developmental delay" and "concerned about his learning" are ways to say "your kid might be MR." It's not unusual for kids with autism, but it's still depressing.

Meanwhile, he's quietly made the leap into two word sentences, which also means he's probably
made it to a 50 word spoken vocabulary. Yay!

One of the reasons I hesitate to brag about his accomplishments, is that sometimes those accomplishments vanish again. Please, please, please don't let this be one of those times. I'd like a little less regression from here on out, thanks.