Saturday, December 24, 2011

Searching or Helping?

Its Christmas Eve and I've got something on the brain. Am I a searcher?

I've noticed that there seems to be an increasingly poor feeling towards mothers or families who search out help with regards to their children - whether it be medical advice or otherwise. It makes me sad. It also makes me scared, rethink myself, second guess myself and get myself to believe that my initial "helping" may actually be harming.

But is it?

Its so confusing and hard to judge... I guess the most you can do is get educated about your child, what's "normal" and what isn't.  Which I suppose is why I'm always reading and taking notes and seemingly like a woman possessed.


Because something is "off". Something doesn't "feel" right. My mommy sense is tingling.

Both of my kids have been diagnosed as being on the Autism Spectrum. My oldest is diagnosed as Pervasive Development Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified. She is now 6 and we've been living with her diagnoses since she was about 4. By completing the therapies, learning how to teach her and how she finds the world, we've been able to signifigantly improve our lives. I have no doubt, by her symptoms, actions, and what we've used to help her, that she indeed does have PDD-NOS. When I look at my oldest, I know that life still isn't perfect, and never will be - but I know that we've cracked the code with her - we can get her to understand us, and us her. We understand what bothers her, how she learns, what she can tolerate and what we can work on to improve the quality of her life.

My youngest was diagnosed shortly after my oldest as out-and-out Autism. At 2 years old you'd think it would be hard to tell, but after a few sessions with her, they came out with the diagnosis of Autism with an expectation that she would "maybe recover, maybe not". She is now 4 and after working with her, I'm still not feeling that calm that I have with my oldest. My mommy sense is still active.

So, I spend my time figuring out, charting, recording, and analysing. I NEED to know how to help her. Maybe there is something about Autism that I am missing.

Generally, after I write something down, I throw the issue into google. "How can I help my child who.. "

  • Is so very happy, until something sets her off and she's suddenly freaking out like its the end of the world... 
  • Likes to just NOT want to do whatever it is that you want her to do. It could be her favorite thing, and she will dig her heels in and NOT do it, JUST BECAUSE YOU WANT HER TO. 
  • Is extremely distracted - unable to pay attention to someone talking to her for more than 3 seconds at a time. 
  • Is extremely hyperactive
  • is extremely impulsive - hitting, touching dangerous things or running away in an instant. 
  • is unable to sit still unless strapped into something. 
  • is aggressive towards others at random
  • calls herself "a bad girl" or a "mean girl". 
  • When sleeping, we're unable to rouse. 
  • urinates at random - wetting on beds, couches or even right at the toilet. Just simply appearing to "not" go even though she is aware of how and has plenty of time and reminders. Sometimes she can potty like a pro, other times it appears she simply chooses not to. 
  • Is bossy with everything and will have a behavoir if things are not done her way
  • breaks everything when mad
  • Will say she didn't do something, when she did and you watched her - basically lies so she won't get into trouble.

This seems like a lot.. but keep in mind I've been watching it for a while, and these things are completely common in my youngest. Its an everyday experience.

While I was researching, my searches seemed to point me in a similar direction... so now I have an idea of what the problem is. My dilema now is... am I searching? Or am I right?

Now that I have an idea of what it may be, do I take it to the Doctor? Will I be ridiculed for pressing for more when she already has another diagnosis of something severe? Do I live with what she has now, or do I press to have her tested for the potential that she has the issue that my gut tells me she has? Will having another label help? Will having medication help or make things worse?

Do I stick with the devil I know, or press on and see what's behind door number two?

Of people I've talked to about it in my close circle, they are of both minds, and so am I. Do I want to give her another label? Am I simply seeing something that isn't there? If I dig will this help or hinder her progress?

I grit my teeth as I say this, but I have made the decision to contact the pediatrician again in the new year and ensure my youngest's follow up appointment - there I will bring up my suspicion and see what he says.
Maybe he'll think I'm crazy. Maybe he'll be willing to run some tests. Maybe he'll agree with me completely. I'll never know unless I ask. I can't stand by with all the "what ifs" when the screaming "what if" is "What if it can help her?".

After all, my hard work/potential paranoia is not for me, its for her and her potential well being and comfort of life. I won't be here forever, now is the only time I have to lay the groundwork for the life she will lead. Helping her understand herself and cope with things is just one step in achieving that. I have to understand her before I can explain her - and she needs to understand that she's not bad - she's wonderful.

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