When he was barely two years old, Eman my second son with autism could barely utter a complete sentence. He woke one morning while i was folding clothes in bed, pointed a finger at me, and said "Mommy I am gonna take care of you". I smiled in my mind and wondered what movie or tv show he heard that on.
The kid could talk so i was never worried. I concentrated on Mardave, my first son who was diagnosed with autism sapectruc disorder when he was two years four months. He had every therapy he needed and given what possible treatment there could be to help him cope. In reality it was to help his mom cope from the frustration of having a kid unable to express himself contrary to his mom who was audaciously verbal.
I took Eman to the same developmental pediatrician who diagnosed Mardave when he was five. Was assured he had no autism, but had despite the fact that he can talk, had speech delay. Was advised speech therapy. But then again the good doctor in me just made do with conversations and school.
Fast forward to second grade when he was nine. His teachers told me he cannot sit still in class. Yet when asked any question he can answer them correctly. I was assured he would outgrow it.
Fast forward to third grade when he was nine. He started hitting classmates for simple or no reason like having a paper taken from him, or not happy with things said to him. In one day he hit nine kids.
He kicked a male teacher in the shin once. He banged a classmate's head on the concrete floor and it scared me. Not for him but for the kid. I agreed to pay for the ct scan and medical expense for the kid.
That same Saturday i took him to another developmental pediatrician and he was diagnosed with pervasive developmental disorder, not otherwise classified(PDD NOS) with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (adhd). Strike two for autism spectrum disorder for me. He was advised occupational therapy and special education.
School requested medication for him since the principal the, told me they have no capability to manage his behavior. He was suspended for a week and threatened expulsion. I refused medication for him. I was afraid it would change the special kid in him.
He has gone a long way from the screaming, crying and hitting kid today.
He loves to bake and like any kid loves to lick the bowl the moment the butter was creamed with the sugar. He would spoon the brownie or cookie mix into his mouth with abandon.
He loves stars wars and would talk no end about Star Wars with Mom.
He still goes back to Woody and Buzz of the movie Toy Story.
Was talking to his special ed teachers the other day and they told me he was an intelligent kid. Intelligent yet labeled. He refused to be called a child with autism.
Fourth grade, he was out of sped. He was off the shadow teacher and was behaving within the range of normal behavior for his age.
For some children - a heavy dose of love and attention works best. I hope my experiences help some out there.
Dr. Cristine Terrado
Dr. Cristine Terrado MD is a retired Philippine National Health Service Hospital doctor and mother of 2 autistic children. She is enjoying a 2nd career as a medical and dental patient adviser for Certified Dentists Internationale' -ed
She welcomes your questions, comments and suggestions.