Sunday, February 7, 2010

Evaluations in ASD

The Raising Children Network released in 2009 some things for parents to consider in testing for ASD. I thought this was interesting because it raised several issues in the testing that I had myself. While it does stress the fact that evaluations are important it also stresses the importance of looking at these evaluations to compare their validity. They are quick to point out some factors that gauge whether or not the treatments are working. Things such as clearly explaining how the treatment is to be implemented,controlling other possible causes of change in the behaviour or symptom and repeating the test to see whether the same results are found. Things that I feel any concerned parent should do regardless.
It also goes on to say things that should not be considered as unquestionable proof include personal testimonies, even those from other parents, the word of an ‘authority figure’ – professionals can give conflicting advice about a treatment as well as the collective opinion of a particular group of professionals. So in essence you can't just take the doctors word for it you have to look at all the evidence with an objective point of view.
The writers are also apt to point our that reviews that have not been peer reviewed or published should not be trusted as they may not carry any evidential weight. Systematic reviews should carry the most credit. They are quick to warn against fad companies who make claims that have no scientific evidence to support their claims.
I found this article useful because it was the first one I had seen that gave me the security to question the experts. It gave me tools to use to ask for the testing and the verification of that testing. I felt better knowing it was okay to doubt or to ask to be shown where the evidence was. I don't just have to accept anything just because they said so.

Raising Children Network. Ed. Raising Children Network.May 5, 2009. The Raising Children Network.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Another week.....Another Daycare?

Good Evening All,
Thought I would take this time to tell everyone about the amount of drama my family had to put up with this week. Hunter, my four year old, whom I will be talking a lot about in weeks to come, was asked to leave his daycare this week. For privacy sake I won't mention any specific names of the daycare except to say the are Tucked Away in Innsbrook somewhere. After weeks of unusual behavior at their strong encouragement we had Hunter tested for ADHD. It was then we also received the diagnosis of ASD.
Well after putting my son through a battery of test and nearly four thousand dollars later (in three weeks) it was determined they were to large to handle his needs. Needs which at time were a Glutton free diet( that we provided) his daily medications ( that we came to the school to do) and the request they did not single my child out. Which they failed to do. Here's what I mean.... one Thursday last week... Hunter was being his normal self. His teacher, who shall remain anonymous, was in a bad mood and told her coworker " Take Hunter and a few of the others outside so we don't have to deal with him." The coworker replied " It is 23 degrees out side." To which the teacher simply said "So?" Now keep in mind this was said in front of a family y member whose son also goes to the same school. Now if they are dumb enough to say that in front of Hunters family what are they saying when we are not around? Then Emily got a phone call at work saying Hunter was being uncooperative because he didn't want to stay outside. I can't imagine why.
We were asked to transfer to another location owned by the same company because it is a smaller school and they felt Hunter would get more personal attention that he needs. I admit to a point it makes sense on the other hand the only thing the Doctors have agreed on is consistency. Hunter needs the same things and the same people everyday, switching schools could be a huge downfall in the progress he has made.
I am happy to report that on Friday he tried his new school and he loved it. They seem to be much more willing to work with us in finding the best fit for our Juggernaut. Ironically enough, on Thursday we took Hunter to say goodbye to his teachers and friends at his original school. Everyone was upset to see him leave but Hunter could have cared less. He walked into his classroom and said " Bye Everybody, Daddy you take me to my school now?" I could not so I brought him home instead. We had a great day of watching movies and playing dinosaurs.
If they can't appreciate and value how amazing my son is then quite frankly I don't want him there. If my son is sick or has a condition then that is when he needed them most. Sure they sent him to someplace new and they seem incredible but he had been there since he was two. He has friends, memories and yes even his teachers that he will miss and have to learn to adjust to not having around. Is that really fair to a four year old?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

So here it is.....

My first blog entry.... promised myself I would never be that guy. But, alas, here I am. This blog will take you into my everyday life as a father, husband, student, comedian and finally advocate for my son.
My oldest son Hunter was diagnosed recently with Autism Spectrum Disorder and severe ADHD. This has cause some major riff between the wife and I as I do not accept this diagnosis. I have no issue with the ADHD but I refuse to believe my son has any variation of autism. Its not that I don't think its possible or that for some reason my son is special above all others. I just know my son better than any test or any doctor ever would.
In this blog I will explain to every one what ASD is, how its tested for, show medical studies to both confirm and deny its existence as well as give you a fathers perspective on it all. I don't claim to have all the answers. I can't even guarantee that the evidence I provide might not be biased. I am going to do my best to be fair to both sides. It is going to be a very interesting, personal and powerful journey over the next fourteen weeks. Thanks to all of you who read this for taking it with me.