So we had a couple of follow-up appointments last week with the ENT (ear, nose, throat) doctor and the PN (pediatric neurologist).
ENT – The peanut’s hearing is still just fine. Not that we were expecting anything to change in the month since we had been there last. He had received a copy of the PN’s diagnosis letter and asked if we understood what it all meant, we did. It was pretty much a written record of his assessment appointment and what we discussed during, the responses to questions she asked, and her thoughts on the peanut’s behaviors. So we’re pretty much done with him and can refer any future questions regarding the peanut’s hearing to him in the future.
PN – This appointment didn’t last as long as the first, but she diligently asked us many questions to get an idea of what the peanut is like regarding his ASD tendencies and his health in general. She still thinks he presents as very mild and isn’t even sure we’ll qualify for a full round of ABA therapy, but that we should keep trying to get him any kind of therapy that we can get. She was happy to hear that we’re getting great support from the principal at our school. Also, the preshus was with us at this appointment which I thought was an easy way for her to see what the peanut is like compared to his older brother and how they interact with each other. She wants to see us again in 6 months to assess his progress after having been in school for the Fall session.
She also offered us the opportunity to have him genetically tested for anything in his DNA that could be the reason for his autism. She told us that in some cases, a deletion or transposition on any of his chromosomes could be causing his ASD, and if they find something that had happened to other people, it could help use determine the best course of treatment for him, as well as to know what to expect with regards to his development in the future. There is a small chance that they’ll find something because they still don’t know what causes autism in most cases so even though they’ll look at his DNA, they may not find anything.
So what are the outcomes? Well, either they find something (small chance) that helps us direct his treatment and therapies better, they find something from way out in left field (even smaller chance) that isn’t autism related but some other genetic abnormality that is causing his speech/language delay, or (most likely) they will find nothing at all and we’ll continue on the path we’re on now.
I agreed to the testing for two main reasons. 1) I know enough about scientific research to know that the results of his testing could possibly be used in a study someday to further scientific research into the causes for autism and possibly help other children like him in the future, and 2) I’ll do anything within my power to arm myself with as much information as possible that will help me help him be awesome.
Of course, he’s already awesome so my job will be pretty easy either way 😉