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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

He's "a little ADD"

After all, it's not like it's sometimes hard to distinguish autism and ADHD now is it?

Although children with autism and ADHD may be behave differently, there is evidence that these disorders may be caused, in part, by the same gene.
Gee, how curious. And her son was suffering from a seizure disorder at the time of diagnosis, which brings up the possibility of misdiagnosis.

Hey, he could have had autism and improved to the point that he's subclinical. Such things do happen. He could have had ADHD and a seizure disorder. Or a brain disorder that caused seizures and communication deficits. I notice she's never been particularly specific about who exactly undiagnosed him. Her DAN! doctor? I think she's also far too financially invested in autism to ever admit he was misdiagnosed, if that is the case.

But boy, that autism could come back any second now. Any second. Or, you know, it could still be there and just be less obvious.

BTW - Time has a great article. Note how his parents react at the end.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

While I'm temporarily off hiatus

A quick update on things.

I'm one third of the way through my super time-consuming paying project (that has nothing to do with autism.) Phew!

The boy is learning the way of the speech. It's still not always intelligible, but there are sentences, desires, and original opinions coming out of his mouth. Case in point. We went out for some BBQ. The boy loves French fries and asked for some. I told him he'd get some. My plate arrived before his, and I offered him a fry. He looks at me and says, "No. Plate!" as he slid my entire plate over to his spot.
For a snack last night, he asked for a cracker. We got to the crackers, and he pointed at the box of graham crackers and said, "that one." As soon as I pulled it out, he said "peanut butter." I spread peanut butter on it, and he said "sandwich," so I broke it in half and put the two halves together. He happily ate exactly the snack he wanted. And this is now typical, not the exception.

He's making mistakes with pronouns, which are expected. Like he'll say "Help you!" when he means "Help me." Yay, he's using pronouns at all.

He's started occasionally asking for diaper changes. We've got an appointment for an ABA potty party next month. He's also got Kindergarten roundup, and a transitional IEP meeting.

And at the same time, we've had to install better locks on the medicine cabinet. We've had to put shampoo higher and higher to get it out of reach, or he'll smear it on himself and his clothes. We've had problems with seatbelt compliance and have had to move him back to a 5-point carseat instead of a high booster. Having opinions means having tantrums when he doesn't get his way.

All in all, the good is outweighing the bad. I'm very happy with the progress we're seeing, and I hope to see even more.

On the girl front, her medication has been very effective. She doesn't eat lunches, but her academics have improved tremendously with her improved focus. She's also more social and better engaged with her peers. We forgot one day, and all her teachers noticed. We made exactly the right choice for her.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Not Curing Doesn't Mean Not Helping

I was reading a blurb in Newsweek about Ari Ne'eman and how his nomination to serve on the National Council on Disability has a hold on it, presumably because he is against finding autism "cures." I read this comment trying to justify why parents would be upset at his stance:
....we love and accept all the beauty and complexity of our autistic children, and yet we also long to see them achieve at their fullest potential in the world.  We need to work to make the world a more accommodating place for disability; but we also need to help our children perform more independently in this demanding world.

You know what? That's a total misunderstanding of what it means to be against finding a cure. I've met Ari Ne'eman, so I've (hopefully) got some clue about his stance here. Ari was given therapy and supports as a child, and he supports doing that for others. Aversives and restraints, notsomuch. You might say that he longs to "let autistics achieve their fullest potential in the world" and would support helping children "perform more independently in this demanding world. "

Seriously folks, the goals of the neurodiversity movement are not so different than the goals of the average parent. The average parent doesn't want to cure adults comfortable with themselves, and the average ND advocate doesn't want to keep your child from developing and growing.

The difference is that ND folk usually think that "cure" means genetic testing and aborting autistic fetuses.  Parents often think "cure" means finding some super effective treatment for their child, and when they hear someone is against cures, they think they're also against treatment of any sort. That is usually not the case, and it's certainly not the case with Mr Ne'eman.

If we face reality, there is no magic pill or super therapy that will turn an autistic child into a non-autistic child. There is unlikely to ever be such a thing. It would be lovely to have an "easy" button to take what we see as severe hardships and make them go away, but such a thing is a fantasy. What we all really want is to help our kids live up to their best potential and become as self sufficient as possible. That's what disability rights advocates want, too.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Fully Fund IDEA

Squidalicious has a really important point. While I'd love to spend some time calling out the shenanigans of the latest anti-vax tactics, this is more important for the moment. Read her post. If we don't fully fund IDEA, everyone loses. This is something I hope everyone can agree on, no matter your theory on the etiology of autism.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Dear Jenny

Why, why do you tempt me with your stupidity when I'm busy? Go inject your face with bio-toxins to hide the damage from the toxins you chain-smoked and tell me more about how the government is out to poison children. At least the subject of your post wasn't poop, even if the "facts" you cite were.