Our Journey: There is Hope

by Jacci
(coweta, ok, usa)

My son is three and half and we began suspecting something was amiss when he was 18 months old and he completely stopped talking or babbling. We had issues from infancy about his ability to hear but were continually told that his tempanograms(sp?) were normal. He always had fluid in his ears due to allergies but since there were no ear infections, we were told not to worry about it.

At 18 months, he left grandma's care and began attending the learning center where I worked. It was immediately noticeable that he was uncomfortable in the class, his verbal skills were almost null, and he began getting aggressive with his peers and the teacher. After several biting incidents, we finally convinced the Dr. that his lack of communication was a major issue. He began Speech Therapy twice a week and after no improvement in 3 months. We were referred to an ENT specialist.

Upon his examination, my son was immediately scheduled to have ear tubes placed. At the time of his surgery, his adnoids were also removed. The doctor informes us that the adnoids were enlarged and showed signs of recent infection. He suggested that our son had been having infections in his adnoids not in his ear canals. Within a month his vocabulary had increased from 8 words to over 25. However, the aggressive behaviors did not stop. We began to suspect a possibility of autism and were able to receive a referral to a developmental pediatric specialist.

Upon being able to visit with the specialist, my husband and I completed the ASQ for 2 year olds. His teachers also completed it. At our appointment, the Dr. ruled out any autism spectrum issues but finally we received a diagnosis! Sensory Processing Disorder and Oppositional Defiant Disorder. We began OT and Speech therapy once a week for each and his behaviour and speech improved.

We were able to move into a school district with an excellent special ed program for 3 year olds this year. We still have our meltdowns but things are moving in the right direction. Unfortunately, we just received word that our insurance will no longer cover our son's developmental specialist so we aren't sure where that part of our journey will lead us.

As an Early Childhood Teacher, I am also making it a priority to advocate and teach others about early diagnosis and techniques in the classroom to help sensory processing be more widely known and correctly assessed and treated.

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