Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Two Years

Today marks two years since Noah's autism diagnosis. Two years ago today we were in a strange city listening to a doctor we had never met tell us that our beautiful, sweet, smart, soon-to-be two-year-old had autism. The doctor that day told us that there really wasn't much that could be done to help him. Her advice, "Keep up the speech and occupational therapy, keep sending him to Early Intervention classes, and come back in a year." Oh, she also ordered a CT scan because of his hypotonia and referred us to the feeding clinic. She spoke with us about communication devices and the possibility that Noah may never develop language. Everything was so negative and saddening. The doctor that we saw that day left us with little hope for any improvement. I felt as if she had stolen Noah's future and all the dreams I had for him. She couldn't have been more wrong.

Since that day Noah has blossomed. His last speech evaluation showed his receptive language to be "within functional limits" and his expressive language to be "mildly delayed". I'm not saying that his language is normal, not by any means, but he is doing far better than anyone could have hoped. He still faces numerous challenges, but he has had so many victories. He still has some echolalia, he isn't potty-trained, he can't dress himself, and he can't carry on a conversation. But he can count to 20, say his nightly prayers, give affection, make you laugh, name all the Transformers, and beat all the Decepticons on his Transformers video games.

I spent a long time in denial. I spent a long time mourning the kid that Noah could have been if not for autism. I even spent some time questioning why God would do this to me. Now I spend most of my time marveling at the kid that Noah has become and thanking God for blessing me with this amazing child.

Monday, October 18, 2010

School and Seizures

I can't believe that it has been over two months since my last post! I am so sorry. I am not joking when I say that life has really been crazy-hectic lately. There has been so much going on that I don't even know where to begin this post. Guess I'll just start with two of the more important topics: school and seizures.

Noah started school on August 30th .

So far he's doing really well. We had a small issue on the first day because he wanted to ride the bus, and he wasn't supposed to start riding until the second day. Of course, this led to a meltdown when I dropped him off at school. His aide had to pry him out of my arms and carry him to his seat. I really hate to see him get so upset.

On the second day, all went fine.

He was so excited to finally ride the bus.

He has a new 1:1 aide this year, and we all love her. So far, she is great. Noah doesn't want anyone else to change his pull-up or help brush his teeth. Every day when I go to pick him up, he is either playing with her or being held by her. She really seems to "get" Noah and his little quirks. Since school started, we have only received 5 - 6 behavior reports and 4 of them were on the same day. This is still better than last year when we received 5 - 6 every day. His teacher is the same teacher he had last year and she has also noticed that he is very different than last year. We think that part of the dramatic change can be attributed to having his seizures under control. Speaking of which....

We received the final MRI results from his neurologist. Considering that 70% of seizures have either a genetic or no identifiable cause, we were kind of surprised to find out that there is an identifiable cause for his seizures. The MRI showed that Noah's left (I think, but can't remember) hippocampus is smaller than normal and he has mesial temporal sclerosis. In layman's terms this simply means that part of Noah's hippocampus has been replaced by scar tissue. This is where his seizures are originating from. This probably happened before he was born, but we're not sure. He has done exceptionally well on the anti-seizure medication and we really haven't noticed any seizures since he started the medication.

I promise another post really soon. If not, someone hit me over the head!