Our Family

Our Family
"These are the children God has graciously given to me. (us)" - Genesis 33:5

Monday, May 07, 2007

Some New Stuff...

Okay, so I've written this post a couple of times now, deleted and started over. I just haven't figured out a way to put into words what I'd like to say. I've decided to take the say-what-I-have-to-say route and go from there.

First off...Ethan was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome last Thursday.
Secondly...he needs to have his adenoids removed and that is scheduled for the 15th of June.

There...I said it.

Now a definition: "Asperger Syndrome (also called Asperger Disorder) is a neurological condition that affects social and emotional interaction. It is a developmental disability, which means that it is most likely present at birth and affects development throughout life." - Asperger Syndrome and Your Child: A Parent's Guide

Within Asperger Syndrome (AS) there are various levels of severity. These levels are based on four essential qualities that characterize children with AS. They are impaired social interaction, impaired communication, repetitive or odd patterns of behavior or interests, and unusual responses to stimulation and environment. Ethan has a mild form of all of these. Some are easier to notice than others and if you aren't around him often, you may not even notice. Most times AS isn't diagnosed until children reach the preschool/kindergarten years because that is the time that their social world really begins to expand.

Now, Ethan wasn't enrolled in a 3yr. old preschool for several reasons. 1. three years old is too young to start "school" in our opinion unless there is a developmental reason; 2. we want to home school our children; 3. we were expecting our third child at the time and didn't want him to connect his leaving for school with the arrival of his sister and 4. he isn't potty trained yet!

However, we have a meeting on the 18th to determine where and when he will go to a developmental preschool. The Developmental Pediatrician who diagnosed Ethan, wants him in a program that is 3 half days a week so that he can be part of the social aspect of school, but still receive the therapy he needs. He is to continue his occupational therapy with Jessica through Easter Seals, and receive therapy from a behaviorist, and a speech therapist while attending school. The speech therapist will help him with language pragmatics, (non-verbal cues, body language, personal space, etc.) as well as communication, (how to ask a group of kids if he can join them in a game, respond to questions with appropriate answers etc.) The behaviorist will teach him appropriate ways to act and respond in social situations.

I could go on and on with all the info. there is on this topic, but as it is it has taken me several days just to write this. So, I will refer you to a website: www.udel.edu/bkirby/asperger/ Go to the menu bar on the left of the site and click on "What is AS?" It gives you more information than I could as I'm still trying to understand it all. I will warn you though, for those of you who don't know, AS is considered part of the autistic spectrum. So everything you read will in some way be related to autism. Everyone we've told so far has taken the news differently. Thankfully we have a great network of support from friends and family.

As for the adenoids...well through a sleep study we found out that the snoring that Ethan does, wakes him up several times throughout the night. Because of this he doesn't get the obvious rest he needs, which can then lead to behavioral issues. This doesn't mean that once his adenoids are removed he will suddenly be this well behaved angel of a child...but as his doctor stated..."it certainly won't make things worse to have a child whose had a good nights sleep!" Because Ethan will need to be taught so many of the behaviors he should have learned over time, the better rested he is, he will not only learn new things but also be able to retain them.

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