Carson has been seeing a Ped. Neurologist since the age of two. (These types of doctors are very had to get into and typically have wait lists that are months long. We have been going to the MIND institute and we see Dr. Finkel. We have been very happy with the treatment we have received. Although this is a typical medical practice they are very familiar with the DAN approach and are supportive of our choices.)
This past Friday - after all the drama of the crying. Carson had a neurology appointment. We see this doc two to three times a year to keep track of his progress or anything new that could be going on.
Jay was working so, thank goodness my Dad came with me. It might sound totally strange but I cannot take both boys with me anywhere when I am alone. This is another thing most people take for granted. Any four year old can be hard to deal with from time to time but for Carson the world is a very offensive place. He does not process the world the same way we do, so little things can upset him very quickly and very easily. We don't go out to eat. We don't take him to the mall. We try to not have to take him anywhere that is too challenging for him as it will in turn be a horrible day. But we still do have to challenge him to fit into this world.
So, my dad, Fin, Carson and I went to the appointment. They are in Farmington Hills and Carson napped on the way. I thought this might help us in having an okay time and he did do really well until the doc was running over an hour late.
If there is one thing I HATE it is making an autistic kid wait. He can only keep it together for so long and then we are off the deep end again. The strange place, the other people, the music overhead, the TV with the volume on, other kids playing, people talking, the automatic door, the bathrooms, the drinking fountain, people in wheelchairs, the staff...... he is sensitive to it all. He is not a bad kid...... the only way I can sum it up is to explain that his anxiety runs so high that he can only keep it together for so long before he looses it.
Dad was great at watching Fin as when we go anywhere, one of us has to be one-on-one with Carson.
We finally got in to see the Doc. They are very impressed with his language. Again, we were told how smart he is. There is nothing wrong with his intellect or cognition. He is just one big ball of nerves and they are super sensitive.
Our greatest area to work on is behavior. We know he can do it. One year ago, I would estimate he had less than half of the language he has now. He is conversing, bargaining, and expressing himself better than he ever has.
Our behavior on the other hand, could use some work. Please know that this is not a lack of discipline. There is discipline in our home. We do not let him get away with whatever he wants. Other parents of special needs children can tell you that the standard forms of discipline do not work. We have tried it all...it just does not work.
Think about it...discipline is hard when you don't have the processing or language skills needed for most of the "non-hitting" options. I am feeling more and more that he is starting to get it but we will be implementing some behavior therapy and ABA in the next few weeks. He is getting the language now we just need to help him with his self control and emotions.
I know when he is being naughty. I also know when he is scared, upset, fearful, overwhelmed and frustrated. Unfortunately for Carson, all of these feelings have the same response.....yelling, crying.....freaking out. He can't yet differentiate between them. Yes, he might throw something or hit you (more of a tap as he knows he is not suppose to do it) but all of these things are done so that he gets the message across that something is wrong. In these times, his anxiety is so high that he cannot find the words fast enough. It is like having a panic attack and not being able to get air. So, this new therapy with help with that.
I am excited for him that he is making so much progress. I don't intent to paint a negative picture but more to help everyone understand better. This is just our next step in the process of healing our child. We have finally made it through three large family functions without having to leave..... that is amazing progress and I know that he is working hardest of all of us to be successful.
Next week, my Dad will be joining me again as we see our Bio-Med Ped. in Ann Arbor on Wed. We will be road tripping and I am so grateful that he is able to join me. I don't know how I would be able to do all this without the support and love from our family.
I will let you know how it goes and fill you in on any news.