Sunday, November 11, 2007

Quite a Week!

It's been quite a week around here when it comes to life with Monkey. I'll try and keep this as concise as possible..........

Tuesday we had his 3-year well-check/ear infection follow-up appointment with our pediatrician. Let me start by saying that I really do like our pediatrician and how he cares for the physical health of my children........except when it comes to Monkey Dancin'. It was yet another visit that left me feeling like our pedi, who is otherwise fabulous, just doesn't quite "get it" when it comes to Tripp and his quirkiness. We were going through all the basic developmental questions and as he was asking me about language stuff and I was giving honest answers he was looking at me sort of confused. I finally said, "I'm not sure if you have it in your notes there, but we have an appointment with the Autism Team in December." His response......."Really?" Like he didn't sign the referral forms!!! He asked if was the team in Temple and I said yes and he made a little note and we continued. I will say that at that point he started watching Tripp more than just talking to me so I guess that was good. We get down to the ear check and he looks in both, looking extra hard in the right one, and then says to me, "Has he complained at all about having ear pain?" Hello?!?!? My response..."He doesn't complain about pain ever." Him: "Hmmm." Me: "Now, what I can tell you is that as he took the last round of antibiotics he seemed to get better. He started using his words more, and he even was interacting with us way more than we are used too. Yesterday, however, that all stopped and he spent the day either focused on his calculator or melting into tears on the living room floor." In the end he said something like "Well, since he doesn't show you much, but he is showing you what he does show you, we'll go ahead and treat it." So we got put on a 10-day round of Augmentin (yuck!). The cool part is that on about day 3 some AMAZING stuff happened. Are you might want to sit down..........this is big................


I'm talking an actual conversation! Tripp listened and said "yes" to some questions at the appropriate times and then said "I love you" and "Bye Dadoo." HUGE!!!!! I literally was laughing and crying all at the same time. It was the most beautiful thing I'd ever heard. To top it off he then walked past his daddy and said "Daddy, what you eatin'?" I nearly fell off the couch.

Needless to say, I think keeping Tripp healthy is going to be VERY important in this journey.

In other news......we had our first meeting with the school district folks on Wednesday morning. I met the diagnostician and the speech pathologist and I really liked both of them. They asked me a lot of questions and watched Tripp as he ran around finding numbers and counting things. They tried to engage in him in some activity, but to him they didn't seem to exist. I like the way they handled everything and at the end we all agreed that he is going to be evaluated completely by the diagnostician, the speech pathologist, and the district psychologist. Unfortunately, before they can start any of that I need to get his hearing checked so they can rule out a hearing impariment. We need to finish the antibiotics before we do that so we know his ears are clear when we have it done. Our pedi had even said (not sure why, but he did) that if we were testing his hearing the day we were there he probably wouldn't pass with that much fluid behind his ear.

So, we are waiting again. We have a follow-up with the pedi a week from tomorrow. If his ears are clear we will get a referral to the audiologist to have his hearing tested. Once that's done we will call the district back and start scheduleling the evaluations. The good news is that the district is bound by law to complete the evaluation process in a finite amount of time. If he qualifies for services through the distrcit we will know and have access to them by February. Yea! I'm also thinking about asking (pushing) our pedi to give us a referral to ENT. The doctor that treated Vivie was fabulous. I'm thinking it would be good to just have him checked out. He was sick ALL winter last year with a sinus infection that we didn't know he had and this first cold of the season has resulted in two rounds of antibiotics. I'm realizing now that when he's sick we regress. Regressing is bad. It might not bother me so much if it just meant 10 days of feeling bad and being grouchy, but he really goes into himself and I'm afraid he might not come back out. Besides, if he's going backwards he can't go forwards and we loose valuable time. I know I can't keep him from getting colds, but I'm thinking it couldn't hurt to see if there are some kind of structural issues that cause his colds to turn into infections (ear or sinus) every time.

OK, there's the catch up. He had a good weekend, but seemed a little frustrated and was really hanging on to his calculator at Bible Hour tonight. I had to physically carry him in and put him in the chair. He was, of course, fine when we picked him up. I'm praying for a happy, healthy week with more of this conversation stuff. It really was amazing.

Monday, November 5, 2007

For My Monkey (and my sanity)

Well, I suppose the last thing I need is another blog, but it seems somehow the right things at the moment. For those of you that haven't been reading my Temple Remodel blog I'll give you a quick history. Over the last 8 months or so we have begun to have some concerns about our son's development. A few mnonths ago he was referred to be evaluated by Scott & White's Autism team. This was not a huge shock, but painful to hear nonetheless. The last 8 weeks have been hard.

Today, I decided to start this blog in order to provide myself a place of release. I didn't want my Temple blog (which is supposed to be about my journey toward physical, mental, and spiritual health) or my Sarah Station blog (which is just about the fun things that happen in our family) to be taken over by this journey we are on with Tripp. So I'm giving it its own space. I'm sure there will be many times that my blogs overlap, but creating this one makes me feel like I am in some way preserving normalcy by not allowing this part of our family's journey to become the only part I see.

So....this blog is for my Monkey. In case you are unware, Paris is my Goose, Tripp is my Monkey, and Vivian is my Bug. Call me weird - I don't care. My children are all so special and they each wound up with their own special name.

Today is what I would call a "two steps back" kind of day. Tripp had a dynamic week the last week. He seemed to come out of his world and interact with ours more than he has in a long time. He was using his words in appropriate ways - answering questions, and even showing (and voicing!) concern for his baby sister. "What happened to Vivie?" is what he said. I nearly fell off the bed I was so amazed by that simple sentence. Then we woke up this morning. It's been a day of few words, lots of tears, lots of whining in a pile on the floor. The one word we've heard a lot today is "Mommy." Imagine it in a whiny, sing-song sort of tone. Then repeat about 500 million times. That's my day today.

It should be an interesting week. He has his 3-year well check tomorrow at 2:00. Then on Wednesday we meet with the school district's diagnostician to start the process of evaluation through them. I'm hoping this will result in him receiving services through the district. It's strange, part of me hopes he's having a day like today when we go in so they will understand my concerns. Then there's that part of me that wants him to shine through all the evals so in the end we're told he's really just fine. It's a catch 22. I don't really want him to NEED help, but I know he does so I want him to get all that's available.

I better run. Monkey is "resting" - he doesn't actually nap anymore unless he's sick. Bug is playing happily and I have a brief period of time where I can indulge myself with my soap opera before we have to leave to pick up Goose from school. Have a good week, and pray that we do too.