Wednesday, November 04, 2009

The wheels keep turning.

It's crazy how every time I think I'm hitting bottom, Ethan wondrously pulls a new trick from his sleeve. Thank God for that. There is a new teacher in his room and he looked her square in the face and asked "What's your name?" in sign and in speech. He has never done anything like this before and his teacher nearly broke into tears. He hasn't been much for conversation in the past, and he has never asked a question, so this was a pretty momentous occasion!

He has been behaving badly, REALLY badly. Last week he had a day at school where he basically hit every child that he came into contact with. The next day it changed for the worse when he decided to use a fist instead of an open hand. We wondered where he may have seen a fist being used to hit and it occurred to me that ASL is to blame! The sign for hit is to hit your left forefinger with your right fist. Nice, huh.

I can (and HAVE) handled A LOT of tough stuff where Ethan is concerned, but this little development just pushed me over the edge. I've been an unhappy camper and it has been pretty tough on Rich as well.

This isn't uncommon for kids on the autism spectrum. If you're seeing a DAN doctor you'll find out that it's often due to yeast overgrowth or bad bacteria in the gut and that if you treat that issue you'll see the problem significantly reduced. I remember last year when we began working with a DAN doc (Defeat Autism Now), she put him on Nystatin for yeast and within one week his teacher told us that he was a totally different kid at school. Once we shared the news with her, she asked if we could please continue because it appeared to be making a dramatic difference for him in terms of his attention, behavior, and sensory issues.

We're also engaging the GI specialist at Children's at the moment and may be doing some x-rays down the line to see what we can find. His reflux continues to haunt him so it's likely that we'll repeat the endoscopy that Ethan last had in 2006; they'll do a biopsy and check his esophagus for damage. We had a terrible experience with his GI doc 3 years ago (he had his nurse trying to convince me to do a nissen before they even performed a single test), so I went through the ordeal of changing docs and the one we have now is absolutely fantastic. I loved him, loved his staff, and loved the attention to detail that they gave Ethan's case. And to top it all off, they didn't treat me with disrespect for taking my child to a DAN doctor. Wonderful.

Now all we can do is watch and wait and hope that the wild behaviors we're seeing settle down or completely disappear. Either way, he's in good hands.


slouchy said...

I'm sorry that you're in a rough patch right now, H.; I hope that it's short-lived. He is such a beautiful boy.

Dave said...

I miss catching up on my little buddy Ethan, and am glad to have caught an update from you. I am sorry to hear of the rough patch, but I was blown away by his latest momentous occasion!
Some days we have to step back and look at the big picture, and give thanks for what we have. I, as you know, have been though life changing days in the past two years. Loss of hearing, balance, health, dog, wife of 20 years.....big list.
But gains? Yup lots!
Have new way hearing, have wonderful 15 year old boy that pulls me from any area that approaches depression.
I am taking ASL at night once a week, as I fear that one day, I will loose these precious electrodes that give me the muffled and digital sound. I enjoy it.
I hope Ethan works thru this latest phase, and I send you nothing but warm thoughts.


Kyla said...

Hooray for question asking!

I've found that periods of development sometimes coincide with bad behavior or other unpleasantness...maybe some of that is going on, too?

KayTar has reflux (it took us YEARS to figure out) but she's never had testing for it. We did a trial of Prevacid and all those terrible symptoms she had had for years just went away. It was awesome.

Tom's mum said...

Lovely to see pictures of Ethan, he is so cute. I'm sorry you've gone through a rough patch.
big hugs

Beck said...

I hope that things DO get better. It's miserably hard when our kids are going through a rough patch.

Stem Cell Blog said...
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Kristina said...

When going through a tough spot the only thing I try to remember is keep going and this too shall pass. I find it is the really rough spots that make us appreciate the more *ahem* uninteresting times.

Just try to remember to take time for yourself - sometimes that's the first to go in times of stress. Thinking of you and, truly, am blown away on Ethan's latest accomplishment.

Cheryl said...

Sorry Ethan's hit a rough patch with the hitting and behavior, but it will pass. I know how hard it is while you are going through it, but it really will get better. He is so bright, and I'm not surprised that he keeps pulling more and more tricks out of his hat...on his terms. When you look at the big picture, he really has made so much progress, and I just know, he will continue to do so.
He is so cute!!! Thanks for the update and the beautiful picture. Hang in there Heather! You and Rich are the BEST parents ever.
Keep us posted on the medical testing.

KC said...

So glad you have a GI doctor you love -so important!!!

Sorry about the behavior. That sucks. Drink wine, woman. It helps me greatly. (responsibly of course)