Monday, March 24, 2008

What I learned today...

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.

Drew immediately started playing with the toys in the office.  He emptied out the bin of toys and lined them up.  He took the train out of the line and was playing with it but was extremely frustrated because the wheels went back and forth but not all the way around in a circle.  I intercepted with some cars in his bag and some animal cookies.  Drew did pretty well at the 2 1/2 hour appointment and played pretty well, the doctor was able to see some of his strengths as well and could tell that he had made progress and sees a lot of hope for a normal life for Drew.

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....

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!


Before heading to Grandma and Grandpa's for Easter, we stopped by a local Walgreen's for Drew to see the Easter Bunny!  They were giving away free pictures with the Bunny, but of course, Drew wouldn't cooperate.  This picture of Drew giving the Bunny a high five is the best picture we got, but personally I think it is really cute!

Here are some pictures of Drew, Grandpa and Daddy playing ball.  Grandpa also took Drew on a mini walk through the woods out back and gave him a mini lesson on different types of tree bark.  Oh the things Drew will learn from grandpa!



Saturday, March 22, 2008

Easter Fun at the Farmer's Market

I love our Farmer's Market.  Not only is it open year round, 7 days a week and is an awesome place to get fresh fruits and veggies, but they also have great family activities.  Today they had an Easter Egg Hunt for the kids.  Well it's not really much of a "hunt"  They basically had an area roped off and threw a ton of Easter eggs out on the ground and kids swarmed the area to fill their baskets.  

Here is a picture of Drew playing in one of the bouncy houses while waiting for the 2-3 year old egg hunt, one of him at the hunt, and one of him checking out his eggs.


Grandma joined us today at the Farmer's Market while Grandpa was working.  (sshhhh.... today was Grandma's Birthday!)   After the egg hunt we went shopping for some yummy veggies!  Drew is such a big helper!


This was the first year we have colored Easter eggs with Drew.  Surprisingly, it went really well!  He had a lot of fun and didn't break a single egg! 


Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Friday at Grandma's House


It was a BEAUTIFUL day today!  Drew played outside at Grandma and Grandpa's house.  Here are some pictures of him playing on the stones where Grandpa is getting ready to make a strawberry bed in front of the shed.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Quality Time

Today is his speech teacher's last day at his school.  She is going on maternity leave, so we took her a present which was a bunch of my different items that I sell.  One of which was a set of my flannel burp cloths.  Well when she took it out of the package, Drew picked it up and wiped his nose with it!  GOODNESS!  I told her that he now uses them for hankies.... see many uses.....  guess that one needs washed now!

Some pictures of Drew spending quality time sharing a snack with daddy last night....


Today was also my Sister in Law's Birthday.... check out their blog to see the video message Drew sent

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

What's going on....

Don't know what is going on in Drew's head.  He has been a little out of it the last few days.  His teacher even asked me about it today.   He has been stimming a lot more lately.  The tantrums have been bad too.  Hopefully it is just a phase.  It seems to go in cycles.  He sees the developmental pediatrician for the first time next Monday, hopefully we will learn a little more then.

After school we went to an Easter playdate with our mommy's group.  Here is a picture of Drew in his bunny ears at the party. 


Saturday, March 15, 2008

Sleepy Head...

Drew fell asleep on my lap last night at 8:15 before he had his clonidine.  I was so afraid he would get up around 3 ready to go, but he didn't.  He didn't get up until 7:30!!!  OVER 11 HOURS!!!  When we got up this morning it felt like that very first night he slept through the night as a baby.  We woke up in a panic, wondering how we slept so late, where Drew was, what he was doing.  Amazingly he was still in bed!

When I went in his room to check on him and wake him up I told him that we had to get ready for school.  He said "Go to School, then Grandma's House" and he kept saying it over and over.  Grandma's house was not in the plans for the day, but he woke up determined to go there.  When I picked him up from school, he was still talking about going to Grandma's house.  Grandma decided to come get Drew for the night since he wanted to go to her house so bad.......he's so spoiled...  (love you mom!)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Feeling Better

Drew is starting to feel better, I think I will send him to school tomorrow.  He seemed to have caught a virus, that really hit him this weekend.  I kept him home from school on Friday because I could tell he wasn't feeling well.  He never had a fever over the 99's, but woke up throwing up on Sunday.  I was really afraid that we were going to have to take him to the hospital, he was dehydrated and couldn't keep anything down.  Tony was out of town, but Grandma saved the day again.  Grandma came over with some supplies and by lunchtime he was peeing and keeping down liquids.  Poor baby.  His stomach is doing better and his appetite is back, but he is full of snot and is coughing.  We have pulled out the old flannel burp cloths to wipe his nose with so that it doesn't hurt as bad. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Going Public....

I've been contemplating on whether or not to go public with my blog.  I really just started it to help me keep track of Drew's progress.  I have realized that others may like to track his progress as well.  Of course if I go public and do share it with family and friends then I need to get my act together and do more entries and post more pictures.

What to do, What to do...... 

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Vacation of my own

 I flew up to Indiana for a few days to spend time with my brother and his wife and to have a couple Open Houses for my business.  I missed Tony and Drew, but it was nice to get away for a few days and recharge.  It was also great to spend time with Matt and Amber and celebrate Matt's Birthday and their pregnancy!  We are so excited.  We have even taught Drew to say "baby cousin"  It is so cute.  

Drew stayed with Grandma and Grandpa since Tony had to work while I was gone.  On Saturday though, Tony picked Drew up and took him to see Play House Disney Live!  They had a great time together, They sang and danced to Play House Disney songs from Handy Manny, Little Einsteins, Tigger and Pooh, and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  Drew got his picture taken with a Handy Manny cutout and got a Handy Manny Helmet.  Tony even took Drew potty at the Coliseum and Drew actually peed in the potty there!  WOOHOO - Go Daddy and Drew!!!   

Matt practicing using his baby sling with his dog Charlie.

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