Today was Drew's first appointment with the developmental pediatrician. It took months just to get an appointment and then MONTHS to wait for the appointment once we got in. It was a great experience. We never saw a nurse, the doctor came out to the playroom where we were waiting to get Drew. He watched him play a little and asked questions about his play while we tried to pry Drew away from the toys. (thanks to my stash of cars in our bag I was able to bribe him away). The doctor went over a lot of Drew's history but it was also obvious that he had actually read his records and knew a lot about him already. It was so nice to go to a doctor that had done his research on the patient.
The doctor (Dr. K) said we could get testing done, but there isn't a lot we can find right now as far as causes anyways. Basically we could have a complete scan of his head done and some bloodwork drawn. Drew had a CT scan a while back on his ear when the ENT was trying to make sure that his ear was okay when we were investigating his mild hearing loss in his left ear. That CT scan was an awful experience. It was at the hospital and they had to sedate him for the scan. At that time Drew was not diagnosed with autism yet, and he was a screaming mess and the hospital (and the nurses) were not child friendly. So I would prefer to NOT do another scan if it is not necessary. Honestly though, Tony and I feel that God gave Drew to us like this and having these tests done isn't going to change Drew in any way and more than likely isn't going to tell us anything anyways. So unless there is a major medical breakthrough, no tests for Drew right now.
Dr. K also mentioned the changes in autism and its perception. In asking about family history he also asked about ADHD. He said that doctors used to be quick to diagnose kids with ADHD, where now a lot of those same kids would probably be diagnosed with mild autism. I have been amazed at how much I read on treatments, diets, etc. that have ADHD right in there with autism.
While watching Drew play, I also mentioned that he likes to figure out how things work (more than playing with them). That we, and others, call him our "little engineer". Dr. K laughed and said that he thinks that engineering schools are FULL of kids like Drew..... Okay so I didn't go to engineering school, but I thought about, and was accepted to 2......what does that say about me... :-) (poor Drew didn't have a chance)
We have noticed that Drew was getting taller and skinnier. Today the doctor weighed him and it turned out that Drew has actually lost a few pounds. Drew wouldn't let him take his height though, he would just scream and collapse when the doctor brought the bar down close to his head. Dr. K also measured Drew's head (and he measured my head and noted that Daddy has a big head too...). He never mentioned why he measured our heads, but I did read an article a while back about kids with autism having big heads.
Dr. K confirmed that Drew is in fact a "sensory seeker," and suggested we look into some occupational therapy. Drew likes to jump on everything, has no fear, spins in circles, picks at his face until it bleeds, walks (crashes) into walls, when he is mad he will bang his head on anything (people, walls, floor, furniture), likes to feel things with his feet, stuffs his mouth full of food, and more. We have learned to live with these things, but they seem to increase when he is having an "off" day.
Dr. K also confirmed that Drew is a great problem solver and is hyperlexic. Which basically just means that he has a "love" for numbers and letters. He loves to count and read and knows which letters and numbers look the same if you turn them around or upside down (2 and 5) (d, p, b) (m and E). (I personally think this is amazing at just barely 3 years old!)
He also suggested that we try the melatonin by itself or with the clonidine to help Drew sleep. I forgot to ask the dosing though, so I will have to check on that.
In the end, Dr. K did confirm Drew's diagnosis of autism. He would like to see him in activities over the summer. He wants us to check in to the autism school in town over the summer. It is a really incredible place but VERY expensive. He also wants us to put him in speech and occupational therapy outside of school. So we have to check with our insurance and see what they will cover. I really wish the OT at the school system did sensory integration but they don't, so I have to find some place that does and that insurance will cover....