Our Occupational Therapist mentioned to me that she believes we have some children undiagnosed with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) and that we should have some of our children assessed. This didn't come as a surprise with one of our children although for the others, we were semi-surprised. The reason being is most of our children have been assessed and diagnosed with something already. So I just figured that the special needs we knew of was just that and all the symptoms and behaviors existed within that already specified diagnoses. (If that makes sense) Sometimes I just go with what we know.....we flow into what is and I forget to look outside the box as special needs can be mis-diagnosed and/or go unnoticed. My doctor once asked, "Why do you want to know? Knowing doesn't change the fact" In a way he's right, it doesn't change any ones diagnoses knowing although knowing is being educated which will help us with social training, adjust cognitive behavioral therapies, perhaps there is medication that will help for certain diagnoses, we can contact the right parent training and supports. Occupational, physical and speech therapists will know what and how to deal with our children knowing a diagnoses. So it is important to have a label (unfortunately a label) to educate and understand so we can properly function on a daily basis better. It's important to establish early interventions. During our talk with our Occupational Therapist about the possibility of ASD, she also mentioned that she's been watching some of the other siblings. So now I'm on "watch mode" for possible signs and symptoms of AS. (Asperger Syndrome) otherwise known as a high functioning ASD. Usually AS isn't recognized until the age five or six because the language development is normal until then. Lately I've been studying on ASD, AS and some of the signs are there in the siblings. Did you know males are four times more likely then girls to have ASD? For our one daughter she has PDD, (pervasive developmental disorder) simply meaning a group of conditions completely separate from her CP (Cerebral Palsy) Including a sleeping disorder combined with many others. The signs for ASD to look out for are lack of rhythm, odd inflection, monotone pitch, lack of ability to modulate the volume of their voice and narrow interests. Some children can gather enormous amounts of factual info about favorite subjects, talk incessantly about it with no point or conclusion. Children with ASD are often awkward and poorly coordinated. Of course, having ASD/AS, they have PDD which can co-exist with ADHD, tic disorders, tourette syndrome, depression, anxiety, OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) and multiple others. Our life is never dull. Every day can possess a new enlightenment. Shocking or not......we know most of our children have several types of special needs, diagnosed and undiagnosed. Today I'm happy. Not because of these new enlightenment's but because now we have the ball rolling, assessments to be done, tests to be completed giving us answers so we can provide the best outcomes. ASD definitely has social impairments, communication and it has restricted repetitive, stereotyped patterns. Understanding our children's special needs helps us parent. We can understand the rocking, twirling, biting and occasional head banging. The lack of empathy can be disheartening but understanding why it exists, it relieves the stress developed around it. I know some parents don't like diagnoses (labeling) their children but for us, I think it's important for us to understand our children. To be educated. So we're onto a new journey of understanding more disorders. I don't wish any disorder onto anyone.....but it's our reality, our life from day to day, we accept what is and for me (thank you) God that I have the strength to embrace our life. To love regardless and most importantly I've developed a fascination with all special needs. I love educating myself. (I think we have 75% of disorders that exist!) I had a friend once say, "I don't know how you do it......I would cry knowing what you know of your children's pasts, their special needs and trials" I often state, "Don't ever feel sorry" The past is the past, a disorder is a disorder - special needs is very special and we're happy moving forward the best we can.
"There is always a brighter tomorrow if you choose it" - Me.