So this week has been pretty busy. The lil man had his evals all week. Instead of one long stressful day of tests and docs, it was broken down into three days for the boy. For that, I am so grateful. Not only is it easier on the kiddo but it’s way easier on me too. The fourth day was basically just me and the therapist discussing the kiddo. And the fifth day we met for the final meeting explaining the Dx. Honestly, I was expecting them to tell me he was HF Autistic with Adhd. But turns out he has Classic Autism (which I think is moderate to mild) and adhd and severe anxiety. The anxiety is what worries me the most. I’ll get into that in a bit.
So in about a week or so, I go back to talk to therapists and the school (all together which is awesome, the schools are very involved here). We will then draw up a plan best suited for the boy. When it comes to learning, his ADHD seems to be what hinders him the most. He has trouble concentrating and staying on task, easily distracted and incredibly hyper, and then the anxiety doesn’t help. He has a problem with switching from one thing to another also, and his anxiety only adds more issues to that. He doesnt want to try new things for fear of messing them up, he doesnt seem to have the confidence he needs. He is very capable of learning, very bright, and very well spoken. His cognitive abilities are not at their best, though, due to what I stated earlier.
In my opinion, the worst problem is the anxiety. Every night before bed he gets very scared of just about everything. He refuses to sleep alone and nothing with a face can be in sight (dolls, etc). The light has to be on, always. So tonight we are going to try to change a little bit, but not too much. We shall see how he does with me in the living room while he goes to bed. He can have the light on and the door open… and I am hoping that will be enough. Every now and then his mind wanders to scary things ranging anywhere from worrying about my death to a scary video he may have watched on Youtube. I swear I wanna snap the neck of anyone who posts Five Nights At Freddy’s on the internet. The boy will watch that at a friends house and then later that night he freaks out because of it. With a mind like his, watching something like that is not a good idea. He also has night terrors. And nightmares. He talks in his sleep. He sleep walks. All these are hurdles, making it very complicated at bed time. This anxiety is fairly new. Well… at least I remember a time when he wasn’t so anxious. Although Im thinking it might have been farther in the past than I realize. He has always been kinda scared at night, as any child could be, but lately, especially this year, it has evolved and taken on a life of its own. It is a tremendous problem for all of us.
A few months back I had a panic attack, seemingly for no reason. Which I guess is kinda how it happens anyway, you think you are dying, heart races, feel like you are going to pass out, shaky, DOOM feeling, and holy hell it is one of the worst things Ive ever experienced. This happened in the middle of the night and the boy was fast asleep. A few days later, he then also had a panic attack before bed. And it made me wonder if maybe he was awake for it… but I am pretty sure he wasn’t. Anyhoo, around then is when I realized how bad his anxiety was. It was building to that, I suppose. He was slowly becoming more scared at night etc. I guess I just didnt catch onto that until he had his panic attack. He was shaking like crazy, heart racing, he said he felt dizzy and I talked him down and got him to bed. Ever since then, Ive paid close attention to it and kept a mental note of it all. I then relayed any and every thing I could remember to the docs at the apt.
So after a busy week of apts, we finally have the Dx, and can now move forward with therapies. He is going to a shrink to take a deeper look into his anxiety to see what the best approach will be for that. And then also the ADHD might need some work also. It seems at this point the Autism is just underlying everything else. And as of now, his signs or symptoms are not even an issue when compared to the Anxiety and Adhd.
I want to close this off with a quote, my boy said this to me after one appointment. “Why do people call Autism a disease? I don’t feel sick, or diseased, I am just me. I wouldn’t get rid of my Autism even if I could, it is me. The only thing I don’t like is how Im scared a lot, that is a pain. But I LOVE my autism.” He is nearly ten years old. And very wise.