It's crazy how every time I think I'm hitting bottom, Ethan wondrously pulls a new trick from his sleeve. Thank God for that. There is a new teacher in his room and he looked her square in the face and asked "What's your name?" in sign and in speech. He has never done anything like this before and his teacher nearly broke into tears. He hasn't been much for conversation in the past, and he has never asked a question, so this was a pretty momentous occasion!
He has been behaving badly, REALLY badly. Last week he had a day at school where he basically hit every child that he came into contact with. The next day it changed for the worse when he decided to use a fist instead of an open hand. We wondered where he may have seen a fist being used to hit and it occurred to me that ASL is to blame! The sign for hit is to hit your left forefinger with your right fist. Nice, huh.
I can (and HAVE) handled A LOT of tough stuff where Ethan is concerned, but this little development just pushed me over the edge. I've been an unhappy camper and it has been pretty tough on Rich as well.
This isn't uncommon for kids on the autism spectrum. If you're seeing a DAN doctor you'll find out that it's often due to yeast overgrowth or bad bacteria in the gut and that if you treat that issue you'll see the problem significantly reduced. I remember last year when we began working with a DAN doc (Defeat Autism Now), she put him on Nystatin for yeast and within one week his teacher told us that he was a totally different kid at school. Once we shared the news with her, she asked if we could please continue because it appeared to be making a dramatic difference for him in terms of his attention, behavior, and sensory issues.
We're also engaging the GI specialist at Children's at the moment and may be doing some x-rays down the line to see what we can find. His reflux continues to haunt him so it's likely that we'll repeat the endoscopy that Ethan last had in 2006; they'll do a biopsy and check his esophagus for damage. We had a terrible experience with his GI doc 3 years ago (he had his nurse trying to convince me to do a nissen before they even performed a single test), so I went through the ordeal of changing docs and the one we have now is absolutely fantastic. I loved him, loved his staff, and loved the attention to detail that they gave Ethan's case. And to top it all off, they didn't treat me with disrespect for taking my child to a DAN doctor. Wonderful.
Now all we can do is watch and wait and hope that the wild behaviors we're seeing settle down or completely disappear. Either way, he's in good hands.