About this blog.

My son was diagnosed with PDD-NOS at 24 months. I created this blog to bring meaning to the often-confusing label. Sometimes I have answers. Other times, just more questions.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Insurance Update

We won our insurance appeal. It took five months and two levels of appeals, but we won. Brad will be starting occupational therapy again soon.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Guest Blog By DH

Readers and lurkers,
Just a quick note to let you know my father has been in the hospital for the last few weeks. He's had a heart attack, a gallbladder removed and a stroke, and is doing as well as can be expected. I'm writing to let you know I'm over capacity in the short-term. So if I haven't stopped by, that's what's up. I'm drained, physically and emotionally. Tapped out.

My husband is picking up the slack this week. Thanks DH.

* * *

I don't often encounter references to the autistic spectrum in what I read on the internet, mainly because I flock to blogs and news sites about things like fantasy hockey, sports memorabilia, and .....cough cough....pro wrestling (yes, I know it's fake).

One of my favorite stops when surfing the web is the twoplustwo forums, which relate to news, strategy, viewpoints and gossip about poker.

Among the threads I recently read was one questioning whether the 2008 World Series of Poker main event champion - a young man named Peter Eastgate - is autistic. It was an odd question, but as people pointed out not an entirely unconscionable one given how quiet, calm and focused Eastgate has come across on TV, particularly as compared to his generally brash and boorish counterparts. Also notable was how much he maintained his composure when he clinched his victory, literally barely reacting after becoming the youngest main event champ ever and winning millions of dollars in the process.

Much to my surprise and enjoyment, the question prompted quite a discussion, one by and among people about autism who didn't specifically come there with an autism agenda. Instead, it was just poker players and fans talking about autism like they would about health care, Hannah Montana, the economy, or porn. Sure, some of the familiar debates emerged, but it was interesting to read such a full range of reactions and viewpoints, complete with doses of hate, ignorance, confusion, compassion, curiosity, and humor.

Am I the only one who finds reading non-agenda-laden debates and discussions like these about autism (or other subjects for that matter) refreshing in a way? To me, in terms of autism, they're a more representative microcosm of what my son may encounter in the real world.

Oh well, enough rambling. Here's a link. Be forewarned - it meanders at times, but it's a fascinating read, particularly at the beginning and towards the end.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Phoning it in.

No time for any reflection this week, so I'll leave you with a video. TGIF!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Go sox!

Here, in New England, we are said to be stoic relative to others in, say, the midwest or the south. We don't feign pleasantries. We're not warm and welcoming to people we don't know. We keep to ourselves. As a general matter.

Unless you're wearing a Red Sox tee shirt, in which case puritanical stoicism gives way to two other Massachusetts traits: meatheaded-ness* and sports fanaticism. For the uninitiated, Massachusetts happens to be some sort of meathead mecca, for reasons I don't fully understand. Anyway if you're wearing a Red Sox tee shirt and it's the day of a game, perfect strangers have license to make remarks and engage you in conversation.

Which is fine, unless you have have a speech delay. I have blogged of my time as what I dub a "smile bully"; when Brad was 3 months old, I wouldn't leave him alone until he smiled. Well, what we have here are conversation bullies. People who won't be satisfied until they have elicited some sort of remark from Brad, like his favorite player or the anthem "go sox." Brad, of course, wants nothing to do with these well-intended people, understandably.

So I have resorted to taking the Red Sox shirts out of his rotation during game day. It's all I can do. Do you or yours ever get assaulted by conversation bullies?


Impervious No More?

I have long speculated that Brad is slightly impervious to pain. He just doesn't seem to react to tactile input the way a typical child does.

Until now?

The litmus test I use: taking a bath.

There are certain near-universal truths about typical children. One such truth is that toddlers become upset if they get soap in their eyes, even if it's "No More Tears." Not Brad. Since he was 18 months old, I've waited for him to express upset when I rinse his hair. Nothing. Just smiles and laughter. Sometimes I know soap is in his eyes. I look at him suspiciously. Just smiles.

And now, finally, it's happened: every time we rinse, he cries. Not that that's a good thing! Of course, I don't like to see Brad upset. But I can't help but wonder if one of those elusive neurological synapses is finally connecting. By my limited anecdotal experience, this usually happens closer to 18 months. Brad is three and a half. But this is me, not complaining. Better late than never.