Tuesday, January 17, 2006

New Diagnosis & yet another LONG post

This weekend went pretty good.
Saturday was spent cleaning and rearranging the front rooms and doing laundry. I cleaned the guinea pig and hamster cages and let the animals roam around the living room for a while. I have an open cage that you can set up anywhere and it gives the animals room to roam but Harley kept trying to climb in it with them. I was afraid that the piggy would bite him, that piggy, he is a biter, and that Harley might accidentally hurt the hamsters. We kept the cage up and let them run in and out of it while I cleaned everything. Emma kept dragging the hamsters out from under the rocking chairs and couches but she was having fun. Harley would try and help her but kept getting so excited about touching them that all he could do was stand still and say OOOHHH and AAHH.

Scott finally took our outside Christmas lights down, it only took him 2 years! We felt like white trash for a while; kept the Christmas lights up, had a messy front porch, a front yard that needed to be mowed, and who knows what else that Jeff Foxworthy would deem redneck like. We got the lawn mowed in the middle of October, cleaned off the front porch right after Halloween, and finally took the lights down. We do have a car sitting in our front yard but it's not up on blocks and Scott drives it every day. So why is it in the front yard you ask and not on the street or the driveway? Because we've had a rash of vandalism and punks are going around town at night breaking in windows of vehicles that are parked on the street. We are planning on reducing our front yard to add a second driveway and hopefully we can do that this Spring. We'll still have a pretty big front yard for the kids to play in.

Our preacher only has 2 more Sunday's left before he leaves and church was kind of sad Sunday. He's a wonderful preacher and we are sad to see him go. But, he has had another calling and is going back into the Army as a Chaplin. He was in the Army and proudly served during Desert Storm before becoming a preacher. Our new preacher will be here the first Sunday of February and this will be his last church before retirement. Hopefully he will be here a few years!

Monday came too early when my alarm went off at 4am. EEK!! The school wanted Ethan tested again by a pediatric neuropsychologist so they can have a "label" in his educational file and they know what kind of services to continue with. It is a pain in the butt and it seems like we are having two appointments a year for this kind of testing. I'm going to tell the school enough is enough, this is the final testing for at least 5 years because Ethan is getting tired of it, I'm tired of it, the whole family is tired of it.
The testing actually started December 21st but the doctors knew they wouldn't be finished in one day so it was finished up yesterday.
The closest pediatric neuropsychologist is in Albuquerque, which is a 2 1/2 hour drive, which isn't very far away but when the appointment is at 8:30am and you have to get a boy and husband up and going to get there in time, you have to get up that early!

The doctors finished the testing in the morning and gave us a two hour lunch so they could score the morning's tests and then we went back to get preliminary results.

We got there on time and Ethan went right back to start testing. Scott brought our portable DVD player and once they let us know Ethan was settled and he'd be done in about 3 hours we started up the movie. We're lovely parents aren't we? Watch a movie while our son is put through lots of testing that he despises, how dare we!
Hey, what were we supposed to do, sit there and stare at the white, boring walls for 3 hours? Yea, ok. But we didn't. Instead we watched Mr. and Mrs. Smith. It was a pretty good movie and Scott wants to buy it now. I'm still not sure about buying it though.
We don't have Olive Garden in our little town so we splurged and ate lunch at Olive Garden while we were in Albuquerque. It was so good and I wish we would get one here. I could make a whole meal on just their salad and breadsticks! But why eat just salad and bread at a restaurant you rarely get to visit? I did eat salad and breadsticks and also Chicken Marsala. Oh My God. It was so yummy. I was good though and refrained from ordering dessert, like their special of the day, the Black Tie Mousse Cake. I really wanted to get dessert but after all the other food I didn't have room for it. Oh well, some other time.

After the testing and lunch we finally got some feed back. Not all of it of though, we'll get a final report detailing everything they discovered and what their final diagnosis is.

In some areas he scored as mildly mentally retarded, in some areas he scored as average and right where a majority of other kids his age are, in some areas he scored as a little below average, and in some areas it was above average.

They don't want to call him mentally retarded because he has already proven that he can learn and is almost caught up with his grade level. The doctor told me a mentally retarded person wouldn't be able to learn at the rate he is. They are taking away the diagnosis of Aspergers Syndrome though, mainly because a person with Aspergers would have good cognitive and communicative skills, that they just wouldn't want to use them. His math skills are excellent and his word knowledge is a little above average.

So, no mental retardation and no Aspergers. The doctor said as it stands now, before they finish up with all of the scoring, he is in the Autism spectrum and actually touches on all of three of the main "labels", Autistic, Aspergers, and PDD-NOS (pervasive developmental disorder - not otherwise specified), and so they will "label" him as A-typical Autistic.

This really won't change the way the school places him but it will make sure that he will have his aide with him through the rest of elementary school. I know things will change once he reaches middle school but I'll deal with that when the time comes. It will help him get on the DD Waiver with the state though. I really don't know what the DD Waiver is because I haven't researched it but I know it will help him with things like speech therapy, occupational therapy, job training when he is older, helping him to live on his own (I think) and I don't know what else. Guess I need to look into that. He's been on the waiting list for the DD Waiver for two years now and this might get the help sooner. If it doesn't that is ok because he gets some of that help at school already.

I'm tired after a long weekend where I didn't really relax and cleaned instead and then was up for 20 hours yesterday. I'm in need of either a nap or lots of caffeine to get me through the work day.

Does chocolate have enough caffeine to do that?


Marlene said...

I'm sure I would be eating chocolate for reasons other than the caffeine after the day you had!

Theresa said...

Ok, well the good news is that he will get the help he needs! And the school needs to drop this regular testing requirement! It's ridiculous!

Shannon said...

Hopefully with this latest testing where they have re-labeled him I'm hoping they will no longer ask for more. It's tiring!

mrhaney said...

you sure had a lot to do shannon. it is surprising how some parents are so busy trying to take care of their children. it is a wonder a person can find the time for it all. well i applaud you for being a very caring parent and doing what you have to do. i wish all children would look and realize all the sacrifices that their mother does for them.
well have a good weekend and take it easy if you can.

Tmyro12 said...

I am so glad to find your blog. I know exactly what you are going through. My son (16) just went through the all day testing for a neuro/psych evaluation. The courts have ordered it to be done to see where he stands. He has had a psycolgist eval that stated maybe Aspergers. That answered a lot. However it also created a lot more questions.
We are at a loss what to do with this kid. He does not seem to fit in anywhere. Plus has developed other issues that is why we are dealing with the courts.
I am so happy for you that you are working to help your son at an early age.