Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Global Developmental Delays

Hmmm...Nikko was not in his greatest form today. We just got back from dropping off the Civic to get the interior cleaned, Nikko fell asleep for about 20 minutes in the carseat, and now he's mopey. I wonder if it will take him a long time to fall back to sleep tonight. He's also a tad crabby. Denis and I tried to do the parachute with him (using a big blanket) but he just lay on a pillow on the floor and wasn't interactive at all. He seemed tired and sleepy during bedtime stories, and we nixed the songs altogether. I hope he's ok tomorrow. It was a rainy, gloomy day today spent indoors and at home. Nikko spent most of his time playing at the table near the picture window, racing some cars back and forth across the tabletop (I don't believe it was totally stimming; he didn't have his eyes glued to the wheels or anything, kind of moved his whole body along the edge of the table so he wasn't sitting still) and also fiddling with cars and a car carrier attached to a big rig. At one point he brought the rig and carrier to me for help in getting a car into it, but the car was DJ, a blue car with "wings" that were wider than the carrier so it wouldn't fit. I gave him another car as a substitute. I also broke out a big container of Mr. Potato Head parts that I got from Costco. It came w/a Mr., a Mrs., and two spud juniors. Ronin and Audrey were interested, but Nikko showed only mild interest at first. Later I brought Mrs. Potato Head to him and he gave a high five upon request. I played the Your Baby Can Read DVD to the kids in the earlier part of the morning but they lost interest. And of course I played the Cars DVD. Nikko didn't pay much attention to the movie when we first watched it, but today he seemed to be interested in the whole thing. I may have to get another Lightning McQueen metal car because he keeps swiping Ronin's car. I generally don't like getting duplicate toys because that's just more toys to clutter up the living room, but McQueen is becoming the source of much stress on a daily basis.

Something else I've been ruminating over for just the past day... Gail recommended a book on on brain functioning in autistic kids as well as ADHD and developmental delays. It got me thinking about the neurological aspects of autism. Just the other day I realized that while Nikko had a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder, it also said he had Global Developmental Delays. I started looking that up online and my heart sank when I read about that being developmental delays on an allover scope, including social, communicative, daily tasks, feeding, basically you name it. One site included some kind of intellectual deficiency in its definition and I started to wonder if that meant Nikko has some mental retardation. Another site said that Global Developmental Delays are static, meaning that they do not get worse. Um, that sounds like a good thing, but still sounds daunting and bad. Means they can get better, right? The sites I skimmed about developmental delays in general cited problems in the brain at or before birth. It made me wonder why Nikko has never had an MRI done to his brain and would that reveal anything? Would it show an area that is lacking or injured, right or left brain, and therefore give some direction as to the type of things he should be working on? This book that Gail referred to me is also brain-based, and possibly goes in this direction. What appealed to me is that there are brain-based things you can do AT HOME, without the diets and vitamins and shots, so that's why I took an interest in the book. The MRI is something I must remember to ask Dr. Keene when we meet her on 10/2. Indeed, if autism is a neurological disorder (also cited as a social disorder), then perhaps studying the brain will help me. Gail also asked me if I had ever heard of Brain Balance, which I think is some academy up in Deerfield that helps kids w/autism. I saw an ad in Chicago Parent once, but didn't pursue it further. I might have to revisit this.

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