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|Sun, 05-25-2003 - 1:04am|
I am married with a daughter who just turned three. She is a fertility baby, and we had a very rough pregnancy. She was born prematurely, and spent 9 days in the NICU, coming home at 5 1/2 pounds. I did everything i thought i should do with her. Breast fed, co slept, kept everyone away to prevent her from getting sick.
When she was 9 months i went back to work. And i placed her in an onsite daycare. That is when the troubles began. She began to very sick, and many times i would walk into the room and find her over staring at the wall while the other kids were crawling around. i brought this up to the daycare, her teacher, my husband, the doctors. Anyone who would listen.
Needless to say i was blown off. At 14 months she recieved tubes in her ears, and she continued to get sick. I ended up getting fired from my job from being out with her so much. In the three months i was at home with her, she never got sick. She made good progress. Started walking at 14 months. At this point, i really noticed she wasnt talking. And she wasnt chattering, or gabbing or anything. Again, i started to complain to family members, and doctors, who continued to blow me off. I changed ENTs, i changed pediatricians.
Finally, at the age of 2, her ENT sent her for an ABR test, thinking she was deaf. She had no self control, wasnt talking, and surely didnt listen worth a squat. Her tests came back fine. Her hearing was perfect. Yet, no talking. She was enrolled in Early Intervention, and the month she turned two, they evaluated her and determined she was at a speech level of a 13 month old, and her motor skills were that of an 18 month old. She continually walked on her tip toes.
We moved from Texas to Utah that same month. Husband got a job transfer, and we hoped the dryer climate would help her chronic ear infections. (she was going through a bottle of mortin every two weeks, and in 6 months, had been on over 18 antibiotics.)
The day we arrived in Utah, her ears cleared up. We have been here a year. She has not had ONE ear infection. I have started taking her to a regular doctor, because i havent had great experiences with pediatricians. She hasnt seen an ENT once since being here.
She has continued to stay in Speech and Behavior therapy. As she has finally progessed more to her age level, the problems have really started.
She is obsessed with socks, light switches, our patio door, and toothbrushes. She wears socks on her hands, and sleeps with them. I have to hide them or she will wear them out in public on her hands. All the lights have to be on in the house. I am constantly turning off lights, only to have her turn them back on. i have replaced the safety lock on our patio door twice now, and have had to go to extreme measures to keep the door from opening. I have found her on the patio, standing on a chair, looking down over the railing. (we live in a second floor apartment). Ah, and the toothbrushes. Mine, hubby's, hers. They disappear. You can find them in the car, in her bed, in our subwoofer of my hubby's new surround sound system. She carried toothpaste around and eats it straight from the tube if i dont hide it. She cant even SEE them. If she SEES a toothbrush or toothpaste, and i wont let her have it, she slams herself down on the floor and slams her head repeatedly on the ground. OR, she will run into a door. Which ever is easier at the moment.
It has been determined by the behavior therapist she is hyper sensitive. We cant go to dinner then an arcade. Or Grocery Store and then Walmart. Getting in and out of the car repeatedly is hard on her. Plane rides, airports, etc. She has laid down in the middle of parking lots, on side walks, in stores and has had melt downs. (her melt down simply is a tantrum. A loud, screaming, crying tantrum.)
We have tried spankings, we have tried time outs. We have tried reward programs, such as stickers, ice cream, and band aids. (that is working for her now, her LOVE for band aids.)
I have found time outs work well, but only at home. Out in public it is kinda hard to time out her, so we usually have to leave where ever it is we are, and buckle her into her 5 point harness booster seat, and let her fling her arms and kick away, until she is over her melt down.
At the age of 2 1/2, her behavior therapist gave her a new toy, and then timed how long she would play with it. Now i am told toddlers usually have an attention span of their age. 3 year old, 3 minutes before becoming bored. At 2 1/2, she played with one single toy for 28 minutes. At 2 1/2, she could count to 20, count backwards from 10, count in even numbers, say her ABCs, identify letters, numbers and objects, not in order, knew shapes, colors, animals, etc. BUT, she wasnt talking in 2 or more word sentences. She gestured when she wanted something, and usually threw a sippy cup at me, or hit me if i wasnt paying attention to her needs right then.
She just turned three, and although her speech has improved, and i have learned to "work the system" as far as not going more than one or two places at a time, and seeing the signs when she has had enough. She can keep a perfect rythmn, she LOVES James Taylor and sings the words to his songs, but we cant get her potty trained.
My biggest fear is this one. She will go with ANYONE. ANY ONE! I found her last week (i was trying to bring in the groceries and my hands were full) trying to crawl into a car with a neighbor. A male. All the while i am calling her name, she is waving goodbye and crawling into his car. I go to the dentist, she is ALL over the office. They found her in another patients room, SITTING up in the chair with patient, watching carefully how they were cleaning her teeth. The dental hygenest, who had three kids, said she has never seen a kid with so much energy and said she had respect for me. When my hubby visited the dentist the next week, everyone came in to ask him if he was the father of the "cute little girl with the sock on her hand and that ran all over the place" He grinned and said "yep, that is her".
She also has NO fear. Of heights, or falling, etc. Went to the park on Thursday with a friend and her daughter. They were running up ahead of us, and we were coming up on a duck pond. I started running to get her, cause i KNEW she wouldnt stop at the pond. My friend said "NO! She will be fine, you are just too over protective." not 10 seconds later, my daughter jumps right into the pond, landing on her rear and was in water up to her arm pits. I had to wade in and pull her out. My friend felt horrible, but i told her AGAIN, my child has NO bounderies. She listens to NO ONE when you call her. And she doesnt have a fear of anything, like water... she just GOES. Runs in the streets, runs to complete strangers, jumps into ponds of water. We had to turn around and leave and bring her home to bathe her.
My daughter only eats cheese and chicken nuggets, and fish sticks. No noodles, veggies, etc. French toast or toast for breakfast. And bananas. That is pretty much it as far as meals go. i cant get her to try anything. i put mac and cheese on her plate a few weeks ago, only to have her freak out and fling it at me, trying hysterically to get it off her plate. She cant just ignore it, it was bothering her.
I have FINALLY persuaded our family doctor to consider Asperger's. After a month of doing research, she called me back and agreed i should get her tested. My neighbors have agreed something is definately quirky with her. Although her speech and behavior therapists still think nothing is wrong.
By the way, she loves to act out her movies. She memorizes every line, speaks when they speak, and physically acts out the scenes. Her favorite is bugs bunny. When Elmor Fudd is on the prowl, my daughter tip toes in circles around the living room as if she is looking for the rabbit herself. In one scene, Bugs Bunny runs to a door, grabs the handle, and then melts down to the floor. My daughter will run INTO the door, grab the handle and slide down the door until she is laying on the floor. Then recites his lines.
Everyone seems to think this is cute, and funny. I find it quite alarming.
Although she isnt violent most of the time, she is very social, loves ANYONE. And doesnt really rock or have a tick. She DOES shake or ring her hands together if she gets REALLY excited. But only for about 3 to 5 seconds. then she is done. She no longer walks on her tip toes. And her motor skills are finally up to about 2 1/2 year old level.
The state of Utah has declared her as "developementally challenged" and she qualifies for free preschool, which she will start in September. I am having anxiety about her being in a regular classroom and away from me. Although i would LOVE the three hours a day, three days a week to do things like get a hair cut, and go to the OBGYN (which you can imagine is a CIRCUS trying to do that with her), i just dont know if that is best for her.
We are right in the middle of trying to locate a Clinical Psychiatrist to get her tested, but having trouble locating one in the area that is taking patients. Will be talking to our insurance company again next week.
What i would like to know, from parents who deal with Autism, am i crazy?? I mean, i have been saying this for years now, and i feel like i am in the twilight zone. How can SOOO many doctors and "specialists" see this child and NOT notice something is not right. I am constantly told how smart she is, how she does things 6 year olds cant, but she cant do what 3 year olds should. There is NO conversations with my child. I cant reason with her. I cant explain to her why she cant go play, she just doesnt get it. I have friends who have 3 year olds who are potty trained, talk in complete sentences, and can carry on conversations with you. Mine only says "up please, juice". And usually she uses sign language for the please.
I am frustrated and tired. I am wondering if i am looking for something that isnt there. Or are my concerns valid... Somedays she is an angel, and other days i feel like i have 6 kids. My husband wants to try for a son, and i keep thinking he MUST be crazy. i think my daughter is all i can stand. She literally keeps me going from sun up til sun down.
Any help would be appreciated. Thank you so much