I originally found the group through a flyer that was placed at my son's school, but ironically that same week I just happened to be referred to Dr. Knaus' office (only seeing a different doctor) and found more literature there as well. Small world. I went to the very first meeting before joining the forum, but immediately knew it was a fit. I am hoping to gain knowledge from those parents/individuals who have been there before me, as well as from any professionals in the field, I am hoping perhaps to one day give HBOT a try, and I am also hoping to be able to share my own experience and knowledge as well with the group.
2. Do you or any adult relative, friend, etc. have or suspect you/they have an autism spectrum disorder, for example Asperger's Syndrome? If yes, please share your/their story with us. It will help us to get to know you better, and many of our members will be able to easily relate and bond with you.
After my son was diagnosed with Autism, of course I did the whole research thing, but since Asperger's was immediately ruled out with him, I didn't do too much research on that until I came to this group. Especially after talking with and meeting Kim, an "Aspie" that we had reacquainted since we went to middle school together. I realized quickly that she and I acted and sounded a lot alike, and I thought I'd do a little research on Asperger's especially since I'd been having some health issues lately. Pretty much, looking at the research, it looks pretty plausible that it would fit for me. So.... long story short (too late) I'm a bit of a self diagnosed "Aspie" but I think maybe if I talk it over with some of my health professionals, it might be something that could be an official thing. The only other adult I know personally that is under the spectrum is Kim herself, but then I don't really know too many people either.
3. Do you have or care for a child that has or you suspect that they have an autism spectrum disorder, for example Asperger's Syndrome? If yes, please share your/their story with us. It will help us to get to know you better, and many of our members will be able to easily relate with and bond with you.
My son, Richard, was diagnosed as having Autism by the school system when he was about 3 1/2, at 4 1/2, he was "officially" diagnosed as having "Mild" or "High Functioning" Autism by a Developmental Pediatrician, depending on which person you are talking to. His story is very long, so I will give you the readers digest version of it here.
Basically we knew something was different about him at a very young age, say about 9 months or so... at his 12 month checkup, we mentioned our concerns to his pediatrician, and as most of them do, she said to "wait and see," so we did for another 3 months and then another 3 months before she finally relented to getting us a referral to Early Intervention. We didn't see them until he was 20 months, by then he had several delays, some serious, in many areas. We had his hearing checked and at age 2 or so, he was screened for Autism which the Developmental Ped. ruled out immediately, giving him the diagnosis of "severe speech delay." (The first of many diagnoses for Richard before Autism, "Developmentally Delayed", "Socially Delayed", you name it...)
We did Early Intervention twice a week for a year, speech therapy 3 times a week for a few months until we realized that particular bit wasn't helping or working a bit. He finally said his first words just before 2 1/2. By age 3, he graduated to FDLRS to go to public school, but since his birthday is in mid-march, he fell through the cracks and didn't get into school until the following fall at age 3 1/2. This is where the school did a great deal of their own testing and observations and he finally had his first real diagnosis of Autism. His teacher has been the perfect fit for him and he blossomed that year, made real changes socially, emotionally and verbally. By the end of the school year he was starting to have actual conversations where in the beginning it was all simply echolalic (repeating), if at all.
This year has been even better, he went from being the class troublemaker last year to being the class role model and helper this year. The other kids look up to him for help and he loves helping the other kids and showing them how to do things. His speech has gotten so good, he's almost perfect for his age. His biggest issue these days is that he's got a major fine motor skill delay that stems mostly from his sensory integration issues. He still has his tantrums and meltdowns when he gets overstimulated and especially when things don't go his way and he doesn't understand why, but it has gotten better.
Next year he will be going to a different school that has Autistic support and he will spend part of the day in an ASD classroom and part of the day in a mainstream classroom doing the things he excels at, like reading and math. We are hoping the transition goes well.
4. Do you work in any field with people on the autism spectrum disorder? If so, what do you do? How long have you been in the field? Examples would be a doctor, therapist, teacher, aide, ym/wca employee, caregiver etc... Also, if you are local to the Tampa Bay Area, would you be interested in speaking at any of our informational support group meetings in Pinellas Park?
No, I do not... but after all of this experience and being inspired by Richard's teacher, I have considered several times to go back to school and get my degree in ESE Early Education. The main problem is money, really. I could still be an assistant, so that may be something I look into. I would love to (try) to speak at a meeting if anyone would like to hear any information on the paths to take in order to get your child where they should be from beginning to school. After that, I have no experience.
5. Are you local to the Tampa Bay Area? More specifically the Pinellas County area? If so, would you be interested in attending our twice monthly informational support group meetings in Pinellas Park? After approved, be sure to mark in your profile that you are local so that you will be able to receive emails regarding local information and events.
Yes, we are local. We live in Seminole now, but will be moving to St. Petersburg in a few weeks. We definitely come to the meetings... we've only missed one so far and that was by mistake. Oops!!
Nice to meet you all! Hope to see more of you at our meetings!