Friday, June 23, 2006
Nicholas was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in May of 2006. We have had two lengthy evaluations done on him..one with Early Intervention back in March, and the second with the developmental ped. in May. There was no denying Nick was on the spectrum. He has virtually no language (although he will say some words..it is very sporadic), does a lot of visual stimming, and also does the hand stimming (flapping, waving, and moving his fingers). He has been making good progress with the therapy he gets through E.I. Right now he only gets it twice a week, but that is about to change. A referral has been put in for him to recieve speech, occupational, and we have also begun the paper trail to get him into the University of Washingtons Autism Program. He is being integrated into a classroom setting with his E.I. therapist which will meet Mon-Wed-Fri. That is on top of the Tues-Thur sessions. So, we will be doing LOTS of driving!
Living with ASD can be very challenging. Since Nick cannot talk, he easily gets upset when we cannot figure out what he wants. Getting him to say even the smallest word like "Up" is a major undertaking in patience. He is still working on learning to feed himself; it is made difficult because he often will start to stim while holding the spoon/fork, I have to grab his hand and redirect him to eat. Sometimes the slightest change in schedule will upset him and he will spend hours whining or crying off and on. Getting him to interact with us is challenging...Michael basically has learned to dart around if he wants Nick to play with him...Nick loves movement.
Some people may not know what to say to us for fear that we might get upset if they bring up the word "Autism". Do not be afraid....you can ask any questions you might have, we will tell you all about our little man. It can be challenging at times, but there are times where it is very rewarding. We dont take a single glance, word, or smile for granted when it comes from Nick. Any little time he can be brought from "Nickland" is precious. His laughter is sweet music to our ears, and his smile will make you melt. When he does look at you, it is from the very fiber of his being and he can see into your soul.