Keegan finally goes in for his neuro testing for Aspergers Syndrome today. We also found out that the insurance won't pay for this. UGH! This is the climax of 1 year of Dr's visit, counseling, and testing of various sorts. Any further steps will be based on these results.
A little history: So at 2 years Keegan was still not talking although he LOVED stories. When he would cough mom would always say, "ah, quit your barkin'" to which Keegan said, "I'm not barking, I'm coughing". He still cannot tie his shoes despite numerous lessons from mom and dad. He is frustrated and lost in groups bigger than 5 or 6. He doesn't understand body language. He used to have frequent outbursts at school, even throwing supplies. Some of these outbursts resulted in the teacher removing all the other students from the class. I would get calls from the school almost daily and often (2 or 3 times a week) would have to physically go to the school to help Keegan. He was also just sent home sometimes. He sleep walks and HAS! to have his bright lamp on which he sleeps directly facing all night long.
Last year, Ms. Prindle was awesome to work with us and Keegan. By Decemeber she suggested talking to our Dr to rule out some medical cause of his struggles. We eventually ended up in Dr. Stephen Meyers office. He is a pediatrician that specializes in neuro and behavioral disorders. We started Keegan on Risperidol for mood disorders. This made a 75% improvement. Finally, we were making it through school. He still had outbursts but other interventions were helping too. Keegan met with the school psychologist, had various testing done including speech therapy, occupational therapy, and IQ testing. Through the summer we were hoping to wean Keegan down on his Resperidol but never could. By September Dr. Meyers was convinced Keegan has Aspergers Syndrome. We called for an appointment with Dr. Lindsey to have the definitive testing done. After this adjustments and plans can be made for school education plans and counseling. It takes 3-4 months to get into Dr. Lindsey! In the meantime we also started another medication: Strattera to help Keegan process information that most of us do without a second thought. In October he even earned 2 special awards; one for being respectful and one for being kind.
So what is Asperger's is usually the next question I am asked. In short it is high functioning autism. WebMD has a great summary of this disorder. Most of those listed Keegan has to some extent or other: No pragamatic language skills (nonverbal), thrives on routine, takes everything said literally, delayed motor skills, delays speach etc. Asperger's was only recognized in the early 1990's so it is still a new disorder. Children with Asperger's can cope very well but need to learn coping skills and other language skills. They tend to excell in math and sciences. Einstein and Eddison are thought to have had Asperger's. It also tends to affect boys more than girls- 3:1.
Soooo, we will see what tomarrow, uhmmm I mean today, brings. I am thankful Keegan has great teachers. This year he has Mrs. Zarranik. She has worked with boys with Aspergers before so has great insite and tips. Hopefully friends and family will also learn about this and help Keegan to cope, learn, and grow. Keegan is such a loving child. Sometimes I wonder if he feels he will burst with affection. He quick to give mom a love and simply say, "I love you mom!" It makes my heart sing! I love you to son!