Tuesday, May 26, 2009
As you can see from some of the pictures I've posted recently, we went back to Washington for my brother Dave's wedding. We also saw a lot of family, including the Leonards, the Rupps, and the Downeys. We had a lot of fun, which is good because it won't happen again any time soon. I will be posting more pictures from this trip soon.
Sam's last day of Kindergarten was May 19th. He is sorry not to be going to school, and doesn't much care for the disruption in his schedule. He never did care for the snow days or really any day that was a school holiday. Sam will start 1st grade in mid-August, and Awyn will start pre-K.
On May 20th I took him to OCU (University of Central Oklahoma) for testing. His school had started some tests but didn't feel comfortable making any diagnosis or giving him a label, and Sam's SLP recommended OCU's program. I put him on the waiting list for testing, expected to be 4-6 months of waiting. When we got back from Washington, I got a call bumping him to the top of the list.
To shorten a long story/journey, Sam now has a label, Asperger's. It wasn't kinda maybe sorta; he falls very clearly into that category and everyone who met him agreed with the diagnosis. Where do we go from here? Well, once I get the official paperwork from OCU I call a meeting at Sam's school to create a new IEP. The wonderful ladies who tested Sam will come down to make sure any questions get answered and Sam's school program addresses his needs. Sam tested to a very high IQ level, which doesn't surprise any of us. He reads so well that there's no doubt about his having a great brain. Now we just need to teach him how to use it.
Some people have asked how we feel about this. I think I can speak for Eric too when I say that Sam hasn't changed in our eyes. He's still our lovable little boy, and we haven't changed our expectations for where we think he'll go when he grows up. As far as we're concerned, this new label is just a label. Sam is not defined by this label; it is instead a tool. With this tool we can get Sam any extra help he needs at school, including better funding for the therapy he's going to need. Asperger's is a type of autism, for those who don't know. I would encourage any and all of you to do your research on both autism and Asperger's. I know I am.
I would further say that I do not blame the world at large for Asperger's or Autism. I do not believe it was caused by immunizations or heavy metals, or my eating tuna or too many jalepeno poppers while pregnant, or even the rough delivery he had. I'm fairly certain there's a strong genetic component, from both of his parents. ahem. Anyway, I do not believe that a special diet will cure him, or in drugging him. Just as no poison pill caused this, no magic pill will make it go away.