Friday, October 8, 2010

Update on Diagnosis

It's been a very busy month in autism land at the Graham household. JD started the month with a 6-month update with his pediatric developmental specialist. Her name is Dr. Cely and she is wonderful! The great thing about the meeting was that she felt that JD was making HUGE strides in his language and motor skills, so his CARS assesment number went down 10 points, moving him into the PDD range! We are really excited, because it feels like the last six months of non-stop therapy has really helped him. The biggest leap was in his speech. When we started JD had 5 words, all which focused on Thomas the Tank Engine. Now he's over 100 words and he can actually communicate his needs (for the most part!)

The funny part of the appointment was that Dr. Cely told us that she felt that JD would eventually be re-diagnosed with Aspergers when he was in elementary school. I was totally shocked. I didn't think he was anything like an Aspie. However, she pointed out a few things to me that I never noticed. First was that his biggest problems are social - he gets obsessed with certain items (like his trains) and does not want to do anything else. He's not really sure how to play "appropriately" with others, but instead of shying away, he's too in their face. It's like he doesn't have the same personal space issues that most people are born with. He falls apart when things don't work the way he wants them to, which I guess is part of this perfectionism of Aspies. The one thing that I thought was funny was that she asked me if he ever lines up things at home and I said no. I guess I just never noticed it before (probably because we're at therapy pretty much all day so he never has a chance to do that!) but today he has the day off and look what he made... a perfectly lined up arrangement of his trains. I guess I was wrong!

The funny thing is that I left the appointment happy. Most people would be torn apart learning that their child might has Aspergers, however it was a relief to me. I just hope that he continues making progress and is still a happy, healthy little guy :)