Yesterday, Griffin, his Intensive In Home worker, and I attended a polycom conference with Dr.Vincent who I now admire and think that she is the bee's knees! She was so good with Griffin, so patient and understanding that he was becoming impatient, and she praised him for it as she tried her best to make the appointment as quick as possible......yet very thorough. She went over his history, asking all the vital questions and answering all of my questions satisfactorily in a timely manner. Griffin's worker only spoke up when he felt that perhaps the information he had was pertinent and germane to the topic at hand.
In my hurried exit out of the apartment with Griffin and Abby (the service dog), I had forgotten the questions I wanted to ask but between us we decided that he would start with a new anti-psychotic/mood stabilizer: Geodon, which I have taken before. In order to titrate off of the Risperdal which in my opinion is one hell of an EVIL medication causing nothing but problems! It raised his triglycerides, his weight (he was becoming obese) due to the fact that it made his appetite so ravenous that I couldn't keep him satisfied with food day/night, and it caused him to have to start taking Metformin for his blood sugar because he was becoming pre-diabetic and that is without eating sugar (she even said that he had Gynacamastia "male breasts" from taking it so long) .
So, hopefully the Geodon will mellow him out, stop the hallucinations, and balance his appetite again so that he can remain at a healthy weight. Then when he does begin exercising on a regular basis, it won't be so difficult for him and unpleasant.
Griffin had perfect patience, I was so proud of him....he didn't even get upset after we got out of the building which is what he usually does. He has his moments of triumph when he deserves a great deal of praise for his behavior and I told him that if he continues to have good behavior then I will pick him up on Friday from school and that we could go to the lake. After all it will be his 12th birthday!!! He wants to go to Fun Depot Saturday. I think that it would be a blast for us to go play together, besides we are best buds and we are super close to one another regardless of the spontaneous outbursts of bad behavior. It is all part of having autism, the brain is simply wired differently and oftentimes we get sensory overload and frustration takes over and self control goes out the window. But fortunately, it is quick and over in a matter of minutes if one knows how to cope when it rears its ugly head.
We have got to teach Griffin the skills now on how to cope with his anger/frustration with objects and people so that once he is in middle school and out in the general public then he will be able to socialize (only if he wants to) and focus on the task at hand while tuning out all the other sensory input that is distracting him. This is the concept that is so difficult for neuro-typicals NT's to understand is that our senses are working overtime 24/7 every single day of the year. It is like a fight or flight sensation that is constantly running through our bodies rushing adrenaline through our veins as though we are under attack. And our senses are under attack from either: too strong an odor that is making us sick, to a tactile sensation on our skin or other surfaces of our bodies that either is hyper-sensitive or is under sensitive to pain, food flavors, or clothing on our bodies, there is sensations of sound that when we hear certain pitches of noise it literally hurts our ears and causes sheer confusion and frustration from wanting to get away from it so badly. The visual sensations of light that hurt our eyes such as fluorescent or even natural light from the sun can cause a meltdown just because the light is so bright that it feels as though it is attacking our eyes so we always go into defensive mode and act out in some manner. Whether it be mood swings, which makes it common for misdiagnosis of Bipolar Disorder, and meltdowns, anger, rage, that is out of control. And this is why I was misdiagnosed as having Bipolar Disorder years ago, because nobody knew what to look for in an autism individual as a psychiatric patient. Those types of doctors typically do not study autism and are not able to diagnose it. One has to go to a specialist who has experience with autism.
That is until we learn the skills to assimilate into society and conform by imitating what we see or are taught to do to fit in. This is what Griffin is being taught at school however, I allow him to be himself while he is at home (within certain parameters) and out in public as long as he is cordial, uses his manners, and keeps an inside voice. My philosophy is that he didn't come into this world asking to be autistic with special needs so why should he have to conform and make himself full of anxiety all the time around other people just to suit their needs and desires? If people can't accept that he has autism then they can go jump off of a cliff with their judgment attitudes. Nobody is perfect, Nobody is "Normal" it is just a setting on the dryer......and nobody has the right to judge my son for who he is whether they realize he has autism or not.
Furthermore, my entire life I have known that I was different, that I didn't fit in and that my parents were taking me to psychologist/psychiatrists to talk for some special reason, after all my siblings weren't going. I knew that I wouldn't talk to anyone or look them in the eye because I was always being told to "speak up" and my chin was always being lifted by an adult's hand in order to try to make me look them in the eyes. But it was unnatural for me and extremely uncomfortable therefore their efforts were all in vain. I recall that my sense of smell was so strong that even the slightest "bad" odor would make me vomit, have migraine headaches and a few times I have passed out from being so dizzy. I have always been allergic to the sun even though I tried to fit in by attempting to get a tan by lying out in it and getting horrible sunburns, my blue eyes are exceptionally sensitive to the sun and to indoor lighting as well. Certain people's voices set me off especially if they are soprano, high pitched, and if they can't sing it irritates me to no end I could just scream! I am attracted to extra strong flavors in my food and if (when I had the money way back when) I had money I would be a food snob because I know what excellent food is and have the pallet for it.
These are but a few of the indications of autism through the sensory issues of the brain. The autistic mind is simply wired differently as is the entire nervous system therefore it understands the world in a whole different way. I have lived a lie my entire life trying to fit in as a good looking thin woman who attracted good looking men and always got the husband she wanted but now I am being true to myself and "coming out" as the autistic individual that I am. I have found only a small bit of support for my good news....and yes it is "good news" because I finally have answers to why I have been so unique and peculiar my whole life! I am reveling in it and seeking out support with other Aspies and Auties (Aspergerians and autistics) because I know that they will understand me. I have already found some people on YouTube who have given me insight and encouragement. The rest of the NT world will just have to learn to cope with me and Griffin being different because we are proud to be autistic!!!!!!!
Following is the definition of autism its signs & symptoms, and treatments.
Written by the Healthline Editorial Team | Medically Reviewed by Jennifer Monti, MD, MPH
Published on August 9, 2012
Signs & SymptomsSigns of these disorders usually become apparent in children by the time they are 3 years old. Autistic symptoms include a significant delay in language and cognitive development, while there is no significant language or cognitive development delay in Asperger syndrome. Because there are not significant language impairments in Asperger when compared to autism, Asperger syndrome may be referred to as "high functioning autism."
Symptoms can range from mild to severe. Some people may be considered autistic but function in society without issues, while for others, the condition can have a substantial impact on their lives and on the lives of those close to them.
DiagnosisAutism spectrum disorders are found across the world, seemingly regardless of race or cultural and economic background. ASD occurs more often in boys than in girls, with a 4:1 male:female ratio.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that the numbers affected by autism are estimated to be around one out of every 110 children in the United States. However, various epidemiological studies have found varying rates of the condition, ranging from between one out of 80 children to one out of 240 children.
There are indications that instances of ASD are on the rise, but experts debate whether it is an actual increase or rather a case of more frequent diagnosis.
Types of Autism Spectrum DisordersAs its name infers, ASD refers to a range of symptoms.
ASDs were first defined as disorders in the 1940s by two different researchers working independently of each other. Dr. Leo Kanner studied what would come to be defined as severe or classic autism. At the same time, Dr. Hans Asperger defined the condition that now bears his name.
Classic autism usually entails substantial problems in all of the areas affected by ASDS, while someone with Asperger usually has issues with behavior and social interaction but often does not have problems with developing language. The symptoms experienced by people with Asperger are often also less severe.
There is debate as to whether Asperger Syndrome is a variation of classic autism (high-functioning autism) rather than a separate disorder.
PDD-NOS is a classification given when someone is exhibiting signs of autism but does not otherwise fit into the categories of classic autism or Asperger Syndrome.
Causes, Treatments & OutlookThe exact cause of autism and other autistic spectrum disorders is unknown. The most current science demonstrates that there is not a single cause for autism but that the disease is multi-factorial with a strong genetic component.
There is no cure for ASDs. The most effective treatments involve the use of early intensive behavioral interventions to improve the function of the child. It is generally agreed that the earlier a child is enrolled in these programs, the better their outlook.
After the tragic and untimely death of an autistic 14 year old teen drown in New York City in the East river, Senator Charles Shumer is taking action to help all autistic children get tracking devices in order to diminish the number of children wandering/eloping/bolting off out of sight from their provider or parent.Oftentimes, the autistic child who is exceptionally curious about the world around him, will wander off away from safety without a thought of getting lost and not being able to get back to his parent/care provider. Just as Griffin will wander off no matter where we are, whether it be in the grocery store, parking lot, outside our home, or in the park or public facility. And all I am left to do is to cry out to him loudly in hopes that he is within earshot and that he will call back.
- Nearly half of all autistic children in the USA: 48% attempt elopement, which is 4 times higher than their unaffected siblings.
- In 2008, Danish researchers found that amongst the autistic population the mortality rate was at least twice as high as it was than with the general population.In 2009, 2010, and 2011, accidental drowning accounted for 91% total U.S. deaths reported in children with an ASD ages 14 and younger subsequent to wandering/elopement.
- More than one third of ASD children who wander/elope are never or rarely able to communicate their name, address, or phone number
- Two in three parents of elopers reported their missing children had a “close call” with a traffic injury
- 32% of parents reported a “close call” with a possible drowning
- Wandering was ranked among the most stressful ASD behaviors by 58% of parents of elopers
- 62% of families of children who elope were prevented from attending/enjoying activities outside the home due to fear of wandering
- 40% of parents had suffered sleep disruption due to fear of elopement
- Children with ASD are eight times more likely to elope between the ages of 7 and 10 than their typically-developing siblings
- Half of families with elopers report they had never received advice or guidance about elopement from a professional
- Only 19% had received such support from a psychologist or mental health professional
- Only 14% had received guidance from their pediatrician or another physician
Here is the website for a GPS tracking bracelet especially for autistic children..