Thursday, March 13, 2008

Go With Your Heart When It Comes To Your Children - Jace and His Autistic Symptoms

Jace Sitting in a Little Container
Jace Drawing
Jace's Drawing
This is my little guy, Jace. He turned 2 in January. Jace doesn't really talk yet but he loves to draw. He is always drawing on everything. He will spend hours just drawing on a piece of paper like the one above. I am always impressed at his diligency and how precise he tries to make his little shapes. I wish I knew what is going on in that little head of his.

I was really concerned at one point that about Jace. He was having some autistic symptoms.

These are the symptoms he was having (the symptoms in green are the things that were the worst in Jace):

Social skills
Fails to respond to his or her name
Has poor eye contact
**Appears not to hear you at times** (this is still a biggie)
Resists cuddling and holding
Appears unaware of others' feelings
Seems to prefer playing alone — retreats into his or her "own world"

Starts talking later than other children
**Loses previously acquired ability to say words or sentences** (this was a biggie)
Starts talking later than other children
Performs repetitive movements, such as rocking, spinning or hand-flapping

GI Symptoms
Many parents report that their children with autism suffer from stomach and bowel problems (gastrointestinal or GI problems)
Jace had acid reflex disease for the first year of his life. He wouldn't gain weight, he threw up all the time. We finally had to put him on medication and then he gained weight.

Jace's symptoms weren't strong enough for most people to notice that much, but I could see changes in him. I know a lot of people will say I was just being an overprotective mom or jumping to conclusions, but he is my 8th child and I knew we had to intervene. We had him evaluated last August and started Speech Therapy in September. His therapist, Kathy, plays with him to get him to make sounds. His speech is just starting to take off, I think he can see 10 words now, but the social changes in him have been remarkable! He is a cuddly, loving, out going little guy now. I am so thankful that I went with my heart and didn't listen to all the "know it all" people with all of their advice. It's hard to trust in herself to make the right decision sometimes, but we all have to fight for our kids!

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