Some of the behaviors that have concerned me are:
- Does not interact well with other children- mostly "side-by-side" plays.
- Is completely fixated the phone and elevators/escalators
- Goes into his own world and plays "elevator" (sliding two things on the ground apart, and then back together while humming).
- Pinches himself and makes a high pitched noise when he is frustrated.
- Slaps himself in the face when I turn my sewing machine.
- In my opinon, is speech delayed.
- He's obsessed with being clean- makes me clean up water off the street.
- Gets so excited, he can't calm down.
- Has bowl issues- willful holding of stool for up to 7 days.
There are also things he did as a very young child, that we thought were "cute" or quirky- just "Logie"- and looking back over his short life, I see maybe these were some other warning signs for a more serious problem. For instance:
- As a very young child, he would sit in a circle and "dance" in a circular motion for 10 minutes or so.
- He would make a "bubble" noise by holding a fist and making a continual high pitched noise. He would do it so often that his face would get raw, and rash.
- Walking after one year
- Didn't call us "Mom" or "Dad" until after he was two
- Couldn't form a question until he was 3 1/2 years old
When I look at these symptoms, I hear the word "autism" in the back of my mind.
I do understand that autism is a HUGE spectrum, and that if he is on the lower end, then he could potentially lead a fairly "normal" life. The phycologist, speech pathologist and child phycologist heard my concern, and did tell me that based on the information I gave them, I had reason to be worried.
My heart sank, and went back to that cold operating room where I first laid eyes on him. I remembered the hopes, dreams, and fears of being a new young mom; and for the next several seconds-time stood still.
After an intense three hour evaluation, they told me not to give him that "autistic" label just yet. While the symptoms I described above, may look like autism on paper, and if one were to observe him, and see his odd behavior they may say "yes, he's autistic"- he may not be. This is where the "unique" part comes in to play. What many people don't know, is that these symptoms are also signs of the early stages of tourette syndrome. BUT Logan does not exhibit all the MAJOR symptoms of touretts OR autism, for that matter.
While I'm sitting in this little room, talking to these people, I begin to go through the motions, nodding and smiling, all the while going off into my own world. SO WHAT THAN! What is it, can you help me or not?? I think to myself. I go back to that operating table. I can almost hear Logan crying in the background, and feel the oxygen mask taped to my face. In that moment, I thought "I wonder if Dr. G saw a label on his chest?" Did it say:
ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDER
And I hear God whisper in my ear "He's not perfect, Jackie, I'm perfect. I'm here with you".
Once I'm present in the room again- I hear the word "anxiety". They told me that Logan is suffers from sever anxiety and OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). His odd behaviors are a result of his anxious mind, and inability to express what he is feeling/wanting. They gave me an example of when they lined up to go outside. The other children were excited to play on
the playground, but when there was a change happening, and he wasn't in control of it, he had an episode. The other children left, all in a line to play on the playground. Once he saw the other kids having a good time, he calmed down, and played "with" the others.
SO...basically they see a need for specialized classroom intervention and want to help him, but they want to place him in the right class. There are different classes/teachers to meet the needs of a child's specific problem. Next Thursday we're going for ANOTHER evaluation at a different school, to see if it's the right fit. It's a therapeutic class, for children that aren't necessarily delayed (Logan is not-based on the three DIFFERENT evaluations), but are in need of a teacher that will help get them ready for the "real world" of kindergarten.
I know God is present, He is with me, He is with Logan.
Natalie Grant says "There's no such thing as perfect people. There's no such thing as a perfect life. So come as you are, broken and scared. And be amazed, and be be changed by a perfect God."