My son was diagnosed with Autism when he was 3 years old. I have to say it’s been nothing short of a journey since then. When you’re a parent who has never had experience with any sort of special needs, and you suspect your child has an issue, it can be overwhelming to figure out where to turn to start getting help for your child. I was blessed to have a friend that was familiar with the process because she has an Autistic child too.
The first place I went to to get my son help Child Find. I got in touch with the Child Find in the area that I live in, but they had a ton of other resources. I was able to get him tested and placed in a school that was focused on children with various special needs. Over the next couple of years he was at the school, he made amazing progress. The teachers challenged him, and had patience with him. He absolutely loved his teachers, and we were very happy with the school.
When he moved on from the Early Childhood Center, he went to a general charter school. While he is on an IEP, we’ve learned this year that this school has not been the best ting for him. He has no problems academically, but his main challenge areas lie within the areas of sensory and physical. He started having Petit Mal seizures, which are also called “staring spells”. Those seizures escalated into Grand Mal seizures around 6 months ago. The majority of the Grand Mal seizures have been in his sleep. I’ve learned that they affect his vision for days afterward. After taking him to an Ophthalmologist, and learning his vision was better than 20/20, I learned that the effects on his vision took days to basically recalibrate.
After seeing the neurologist, she recommended that he go to a non-public (private) option for a school that is better equipped to meet his needs. Unfortunately, we have been unable to enroll him. In the county we live, his current school has to write a letter saying they can’t meet his needs. The frustrating part is while they truly can not meet his needs, they refuse to admit it. He has regressed more in this school in 1 year than at any other point in time.
He is now receiving Occupational therapy and physical therapy on a weekly basis through a local hospital. His school refused the services to him. Chronicles of An Autism Journey is just the journey that we are going through with my son and living with Autism. My hope is that it will help someone who is on a similar journey. As the OT and PT teach me, I will be sharing what we learn in the hopes of helping others. What works for my son may or may not work for every child.
The pictures below were part of my son’s initial evaluation during OT. The initial results we got back had him ranging from a 2-3 year delay in most areas. the trampoline has proven to be a very beneficial tool for children with sensory issues. We put the ankle weights on him to help him with sensory input through his feet. One of the challenges he has is where his brain is telling him his body is, is not actually where it is. The ankle weights help weigh him down some so he gets more feedback through his feet. The ladder is helping with his vestibular input as well as his vision. He has trouble with heights so his OT had to come support him. The net swing with ankle weights helps his vestibular input as well. It helps him to figure out where he is, and where his body is in space. The tube helped to focus him, and help him coordinate with his motor skills.
See what works for your child and what doesn’t. I make no claims to be an expert. I’m just a mom who is learning on this journey with my son. What have you learned on this journey?