Appointment #4

The main topic of discussion at the appointment was, of course, speech. Our doctors main goal  with Austin is to get speech going; everything else is secondary. The liver enzyme that was elevated in Austin in the past is now at a normal level, so we are going ahead with Diflucan to continue treating yeast.

The doctor also wants to increase the b12 shots to three times weekly as well as add two supplements: L-Carnosine and neoroprotek, both to help encourage speech.

Even as I type this I kind of cringe knowing how it sounds to most people. I am not an anti-vaccine person, nor do I think natural healing is always the answer. Sometimes as I sit and listen to the doctor I think to myself, “this guy is crazy why are we doing this”? I always come back to the original reason we tried it out: someone I know took her son to this doctor and he had great results.

But as I said when I started this blog, for me, it comes down to why not try everything we can to help Austin? If at the end of the day nothing changes, we have not lost anything of importance and we can look back and know that we were willing to put in the work necessary to give Austin the best future possible. And of course we are still doing plenty of what all doctor’s recommend: therapy, therapy, therapy.

The other reason we are moving forward with this doctor is because we have seen improvements. Since Austin started the Naltrexone I mentioned previously, he has completely stopped the self  injurious behaviors. That is a huge improvement for him, and I’m so thankful that he has found much healthier ways of dealing with his emotions and frustrations.

We’ve also seen big improvements in Austin’s strength (he can hold himself up on a regular swing instead of flopping over like he used to) as well as his gut health. So we move forward in the hope that eventually we will see the thing we hope and pray for: speech.

Unfortunately as far as progress with speech we haven’t seen any. If anything there has been a regression from all the babbling he was doing  before.

Austin was mostly babbling when looking at himself in a mirror. He was obsessed with mirrors, and anytime he saw himself, he would jabber away. The thing with Austin is, his obsessions never last too long. He still likes mirrors at times, but for the most part, he’s over it. When that happened, the babbling started to decrease.

Another problem is that Austin started making a certain noise that has become his current “thing”. The sound took over whatever babbling he had left, and now he only rarely babbles ma ma ma ma. The BCBA who was here this morning kept data on that noise, and he made it 120x in a one hour period. Doesn’t leave much time left for making babbling sounds! Like I said before though, nothing lasts for too long with Austin. I’m hoping when he loses interest in this noise he will chose a stim that leaves his mouth available for TALKING, lol.

We are pretty  sure that Austin will attend the school for autism we were able to get him in. The doctor agreed that it’s a great school and said what Austin needs is therapy, not academics. This is exactly what he will be getting at the school we’ve chosen. We met the teacher and saw Austin’s classroom a couple weeks ago. I think it’s going to be a great fit for him, but goodness will it be hard to drop him off those first few days.

Some days I just want to keep him home with me and forget all the school, therapy, and supplements, and just let him be happy rocking and stimming the day away. But I know that even though that would be easier now, it will not make his life easier in the long run.

I am completely exhausted. I am physically and emotionally drained, and I’ve had almost no control over my emotions lately. I started crying just typing the last couple sentences!

Our schedule overwhelms me, I don’t get enough sleep, and I feel like my girls are getting the short end of the stick as far as my time and attention. My youngest daughter asked me last week why I never stay for chapel with them at school Wednesday mornings. I felt terrible telling her that it’s because I have to rush back home for Austin’s ABA therapy. If life had been different Austin and I would have been joining them as often as possible.

I was hopeful that life would slow down when Austin started school, but it probably won’t change too much. While the doctor agreed with me that school all morning and therapy all afternoon is too much for Austin, he also cautioned that we need to keep speech therapy going. We will most likely have ABA at home once or twice a week in the afternoons ( as it also helps with speech) while I juggle the other kids and homework and dinner…

I try to put on this blog all the thoughts and emotions, the struggle of having a child with autism. I know it helps me to know I’m not alone when I hear others who struggle with the same things.

In keeping things completely honest, though, I do have to say that there are a lot of good days. We laugh a lot, and adore our little boy. He is SO sweet and fun, and he brings so much joy to our home. We have a lot of help and support from our families, and despite the difficult period of life we’re in right now, I wouldn’t change a thing. I am blessed.

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