Archive for February, 2010


So, I have been putting off blogging about Matthew’s big Autism evaluation.  In my very first blog post, I mentioned a long anticipated autism evaluation was going to be preformed on Matt  scheduled  February 9th.  http://mygreatvillage.com/2009/11/19/hello-world/.

Well, that day has come and gone. In fact two weeks have gone by since the appointment.  The long 9 hour appointment that we were blessed to have his teacher and a family friend attend.  What was the big reason for this appointment?  To find out if he has autism?  Well, that is a given.  We know he has autism so why waste the money and the long drive to be told something that we already know?  It’s because I felt there was something more than just autism going on.  There had to be! If not, then why is it that in spite our efforts to help make Matt’s world more predictable, he still rages.  Several times a day even!  I have constantly been told, “Identify his triggers.”  Everything is a trigger! I don’t say that as an exaggeration.  

So what did this 9 hour long evaluation consist of? It consisted of doctors, therapists, surveys to fill out, interviews, and lots and lots of waiting.  At the end of the day, all participants of the evaluation–minus child and parents–gather together with their notes and come up with a result: The report.   This report, which is a rough draft, is then shared with the parents during the final meeting.  This is what I have been anticipating for the past 4 months. “Your child does indeed fit the criteria for PDD-NOS (Pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified.)”  I am shocked. “But isn’t that the higher-functioning end of the Autism spectrum?”, I asked. “I always thought of Matt as being more moderate because of  his behaviors.'”

The doctor explained that when  adding up everything Matt did in fact meet the criteria for autism.  But at the higher functioning level.  She said the reason he appeared to be lower functioning is because of his explosive behavior.  She also said his explosive behavior is the cause of another disorder, not just autism.  Anxiety.  I told her I thought  that all kids on the spectrum have anxiety.  She said that while yes, this is true, Matt’s anxiety issues are much more severe and at a level that doesn’t match typical autism anxiety. 

This took me a while to process as you can imagine.  I felt a tiny bit of relief.  Relief that we weren’t failing Matt.  We were doing everything we could to help his autism…….but it’s his anxiety that overpowers everything.  Soon relief turned to grief.  Now what?  Modify his medication, of course.  What else?  The doctor STRONGLY suggested Intense Behavior Therapy. Hmmm ok, I will just go shopping for some of that as soon as we get back into town. I asked her what that was?  She really didn’t offer anything.  She suggested I check around our community and see whats available.  In her defense, she doesn’t realise we live in Hicksville USA.  Not a big city like Portland. 

So, that is where we are today.  Matt is now taking a whole Mirtazapine tablet instead of just 1/2. Thats Plan A.  We are still making phone calls and trying to figure out where the heck to find an Intense Behavioral Specialist.  That is also part of Plan A. 

 Those who know me well know that I usually like to have a plan B in case plan A falls through.  Plan B will be Prozac instead of Mirtazapine and maybe even a MORE intense behavior specialist (haha).  Plan C will be Valium…..thats for me. Stay tuned.


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The Guilt Factor

This is a great article that I found posted on Twitter.  I think this speaks to all parents of special needs children.  If you are not a parent of a special needs child, please read anyway. This will give you an insight to what goes through our heads on a daily basis .  Please check it out:


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Who’s idea was it to put toys and candy on display in grocery store check-out stands?!  Whoever thought of this “wonderful” sales technique obviously didn’t have children!

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Welcome to payback!

It seems as though mommies aren’t allowed to get sick.  At least that’s according to our children.  Well sometimes mommies do gets sick.  When I am sick and tired, I will make a little bed on the couch to rest.  For some reason, Matthew thinks that mommy lying on the couch with a blanket and a pillow is an invite to climb all over me as if I were a jungle gym.  He plays hide-and-seek in the blankets. He plays with my hair.  He pulls the blanket over my head.  He pulls the blanket off of my feet, which I hate!!  This is hardly speeding up my recovery.  All the while I am moaning “John…..please make Matt leave me alone. I don’t feel good.”  Then John, who’s in the other room on the computer hollers, “Matt, leave mommy alone, she’s sick.”  Nothing.  When you are ill, you don’t have energy to lecture your child, let alone a 36-year-old man.  I roll my eyes and pray for karma.

Today, that day has arrived.

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