Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Imitating, and waiting for Dr. Keen

Day two of my cold. I really didn't feel like doing much today, unfortunately.

When Nikko has a really defiant tantrum, he tends to fling himself to the floor. Lately, he's been on the floor a lot, whenever he gets mad about something. I think Ronin was bothering him today to the point that he ended up on the floor, covering his face with his burp cloth, and possibly even crying. I'm hoping this is a phase that will pass. One good thing I've noted today is that Nikko is picking up on some direct imitation of gestures lately, such as Cheese and Pizza, and I even caught him imitating me crashing to the floor during a roughhousing game.

On Oct. 2nd Nikko has an appointment with Dr. Keen, a developmental behaviorist/pediatrician with Marianjoy Hospital in Wheaton. A friend on Facebook who was a resident with her referred me, and we've been waiting six months or so to get to this point. I'm not looking for another diagnosis, but I think I am looking for someone to see what we've been doing with Nikko and to tell me what I should do next. It's a scary thought because it seems that each ped has his/her own opinion on how to approach autism, and may push whichever agenda is the one that they support. At Arlington Peds, they don't believe in the GFCF diet or the supplements route. At St. Alexian, they didn't offer the diet as an option either, but said to wait until preschool to see how it will go. Dr. Keck said not to start any other therapies. When I voiced that I feared we might lose ground or progress between the end of EI and preschool, she said she didn't think there'd be much loss. As our appointment approaches in a few weeks, the more I feel that it's a good thing we go. Only today did I put into words that I wish some doctor would tell me what to do next. This evening I went to that parent support group for special needs kids in District 57. It was five ladies plus me, and most of us had kids with autism, but mine was the youngest. It's scary to hear how Nikko could possibly be in their situations in a few years, with social skill troubles and handwriting challenges. One lady mentioned a program called Have Dreams in Park Ridge, and it sounds like something I could possibly involve Nikko. It looks like an hour or two, two days a week, teaching social interaction and skills to autistic kids. I may call them to check it out. But back to this appointment, I was waffling at first about going, since Nikko will miss a day of preschool and it is Picture Day. But there is a make-up Picture Day in the beginning of November, and since we've waited so long for this appointment I shouldn't cancel it. I'd like to hear from this person if she thinks Nikko would be a candidate for a DAN! doctor, or if we should start pursuing ABA therapy. I'm at a loss right now because when I try to get Nikko to sign for something, he make shake his head in an emphatic NO. Even worse is when I try to get him to say a word, he shakes his head and yells in protest. In the past, I've tried this prompting and have battled with him for more than 30 minutes. Then he gave up instead of trying, so the motivation died. How was that supposed to be a lesson? I want to ask Dr. Keen about that. My point is that we'll go to Marianjoy, but I've got to ask smarter questions about Nikko than I have in the past.

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