Thursday, November 25, 2010

Autistic Disorder

I never thought I'd ever have a reason to type those words on my blog, but alas, I do. We received a diagnosis for Little Bean a few days ago, and his scores are consistent with a diagnosis of Autistic Disorder--meaning, Autism. He was observed over two sessions by a clinical psychologist and she performed the ADOS (Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, Module 3) on him. He showed deficits in social interaction, communication, and imaginative play, and she observed self-stimulatory behavior during her time with him like spinning and repetitive speech.
Although I fully expected a diagnosis of Aspergers or PDD-NOS, I had not entertained the thought that he would get a diagnosis of Autism. It was very hard for me to hear those words being said about my little boy. His therapist is a wonderful woman though, and she made sure to point out several times that the things she was saying about him in no way presented the whole picture of who Little Bean is, and I was grateful that she pointed that out. Also, as she began to explains some of the things he did during their time together, I realized that the diagnosis of Autism is right for him.

We are at a major crossroads at this point. His therapist had three basic recommendations for him--that he get an IEP if he does end up in school, that he get into 1:1 therapy for social skills training, and that he get into a social skills group therapy situation. Also, she recommends an Occupational Therapy evaluation to address his sensory needs. Most of this will be covered by our current insurance plan, all except the social skills group. However, that therapy alone is going to cost us about $10,000 dollars a year (yes you read that right), since it's not covered. He is too high functioning, unfortunately to get funding from our state.

Also, there are rumors floating around my husband's work that the insurance plan is going to change. At that point, I have no idea what he will be able to have covered, if anything. And to add to that, we are looking at relocating to OK--in which case, we would have to switch plans anyway. The move is something that is really important to us for a variety of reasons, so we are still pursuing that route despite this new diagnosis.

Another option would be to put Little Bean in public school, try to get some therapy services that way. There are multiple problems we have with that, one of which is that we just don't feel public school is the best place for our children.

So we have a lot of prayerful considerations to make at this time. Top it off with the fact that both the kids and I have colds this weekend.

On this Thanksgiving, despite the uncertain future we face with this new diagnosis and the insurance/job situation, we have MUCH to be thankful for--friends and family who love us and support us in so many ways, a happy and healthy home, and especially a God who knows my son through and through and holds him in the palms of his mighty hands.


Corina said...

I'm thankful that you have a diagnosis, even if it's one that I'm sure was very hard to hear. I'll join you in prayer that God will impress upon your hearts and minds what is best for you son. I would say that I think public school should be at the bottom of the list - I taught ps and then later worked with a high-functioning autistic boy. I ended up homeschooling him for several years because he just didn't get the help needed. There is so much more you can do at home - just research your options and how to do the therapies. God will enable you to help your son!

Annette W. said...

It sounds as if you have much to be thankful for...including the autism being mild...and a new journey ahead of you. As with all things, God will bring you through.

Blessings and prayers!
♥ Annette

Phyllis said...

I have two children who have been diagonosed on the spectrum. My daughter, now 19, is a happy, sweet young lady. Things are more difficult for her, but she has an amazing spirit that meets those challenges. Don't lose hope, there is much to be thankful for. I am here for you, if you ever need to talk.

SabinJayne said...

I pray that you will know God's guidance in your decisions, I remember being totally overwhelmed when we finally had a diagnosis, it was good to finally know what we were dealing with but the reality of it hits hard. My son was diagnosed at age 4 with ASD and that was 3 years ago.
I pray that over the next few weeks you will be able to give yourself the time to process everything that has happened up to this point of diagnosis. I also pray friends in your life who love you will be right there for your family at this time to help you. Having a child with Autism is a journey and I know you have the Lord in your life and he will guide you each step of the way, your son is " Fearfully and wonderfully made"

Angela said...

I have been a reader of your blog for a while now, but due to some family situations going on I have not read many blogs at all. I hate to hear about the DX, however I know it helps to start recieving what he needs. We are in the process of having my 4 year old evaluated. he has seen the therapist twice now. At the last meeting she told me that she had an idea of where she was going with his DX, and she had me fill out a GARS-2. I was thinking Aspergers. how did they make the distinction between Autism and Aspergers for your son?

S Club Mama said...

like you I was a little taken aback by autism. I was prepared for PDDNOS (not Asperger's because he does have speech delays and many of them do not). Oh thanks for the heads up on cost of therapy...

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