How to deal with autism

January 27th, 2008

Q: I have 2 children.Braden who is now 3 and Madison who is 4. Braden was diagnosed with ASD in Sept and its very clear that my daughter has her own problems. Braden just turned 3 and I have been trying to get him help since around 18 mths. I spent months trying to convince my family that a child does not just regress and become non verbal and do all of these what I called weird things back then.I finally see our pediatrician, she tells me he probably just has sensory issues, anyways after a few visits I realize she’s not gonna be any help.I travel to Atlanta to see a developmental pediatrician and she says she notices immediately.She hands us a book and Good Bye.The total appointment took about 45 min. and there was no CARS test or any other test just observation and talking with us.My husband still in denial wanted another test like we had read about on the internet not just talking and observation. He was refered to a developmetal and behavioral ped. in June of 07 and today I got the info. on it and his appointment is Jan 29 09.My husband swore it was an error,but it is not.How in the world do you set appointment for developmentally delayed children 1 1/2 years later.That is crazy. I was very anxious to go to the appointment because I realized about the same time with my son that my daughter had really changed around 18 months and we have always blamed it on jelousy because Braden was born.She has all of the same issues as Braden,she does not have lang. delay but instead is way above other kids with voc.I am trying to figure out the best way to help them.Is it better to point out their problems and try to do most things on your own by other peoples advice,or to find a DAN doctor or suggestions on other Docs that can help. I have had early intervention which sucked he had one speach appt. Going through the process of getting him in public school system. Madison attends pre-k program and her teachers have had concerns about her socialism,worries all the time,shes just different from other kids and she knows it and it bothers her really bad.She is an emotional rollercoaster.They both have stomach issues sensory issues they both eat only certain things and it has to be exactly right.I constantly worry about their nutrition.They stay sickly. Behavior is out of this world and me and my husband are going crazy.It is my mission to help them as much as possible with or without doctors.I have read so many things that can help. I have sat around and been sad and mad and everything else because I didn’t have money to do any of that.What an awful feeling to have children that need help and you can’t give it to them.I decided to sell my business and help my kids,I just have no clue of where to start and what is a waste of time and money.Sorry this is so long I could go on forever.

Answer: I asked myself what I would have done in your shoes and I think I’d go for two things: one, a consultation with a DAN Dr. or a nutritionist who specializes in autism or behavior problems (you can call your local hospital or autism support group if there’s one in your town) to figure out the nutrition problems with your kids. I truly think there is some relationship between poor nutrition or foods that may be causing allergic reactions and behaviors. I’ve seen this over the years with my son and it has made me think that for some of our kids, it’s a big issue.

Secondly, you have rights in your school for your kids to have special education and to be evaluated for services. At least you’ve got the diagnosis now for your son – call the director of special ed in your district, inform them of the diagnosis and get an eval set up. Once you’re in the school system, hopefully your son will have access to a good program and you can get this ball rolling.

Since your daughter is already in the school system, you can ask her teacher to make a referral to the school psych for an evaluation for services and hopefully you’ve got a district that will be there for you.

The reason I think the diet problems need to be “attacked” head on first is because until they feel better and their stomachs are functioning better, they are not going to respond to any other treatments to any really beneficial degree. First things first.

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