Saturday, May 19, 2012

Autism and health.

A week ago, we had JT's blood drawn. I'll take a moment here and brag a little on the little guy, who squeaked 'take it out!' a few times but required no restraint - just one tech holding his arm underneath to keep it extended and another drawing the blood. They took 5 vials of blood from my little guy, and he was an absolute champ.

(I will mention sheepishly that I thought it was going to be a horrific experience, and promised him if he did well he'd get to stay home from school... which he completely held me to. Upon completion, he hopped up, wiped two tiny tears from his face and declared, "C'mon mommy, we're going home!" with a big smile. Lesson learned: use small bribery first!). 

Risperdal can do some scary stuff. Thyroid issues, cholesterol issues, blood sugar issues... with how amazing this drug has been for JT, I was so terrified those tests were going to come back with one of the three, and we would lose the one thing that has changed our lives. I also know that little man doesn't eat the best diet, and was a little worried some of the numbers would be off there, too - specifically iron. 

Thursday JT's doctor got the results and brought them out for review. I held my breath, bracing myself... 

"Perfect." was the first word out of the doctor's mouth. They were absolutely perfect. As in, not one single number was off in all 5 of the blood tests. Not only were the ones they were looking for spot on, but there wasn't anything on those lists that was out of range. 

YAY for healthy!

Then I came home to see some links and reminders we are incredibly lucky. 

See, JT's autism is not related to his health. 

Many, many children's autism is tied in with their health. In the friends I've met, more often than not there are some pretty serious health problems that tag along with autism. 

Think mitochondrial disorder. Celiac. Immune problems. Encopresis. Major gastrointestinal and digestive problems. Megacolon. Those are just a few. 

The worst thing we deal with is eczema

And I feel guilty that we somehow dodged that bullet but others aren't so lucky. Women I know and love and their babies deal with so much more than 'just' autism every day. And even though more are sick than are healthy, many of the doctors they deal with insist they are unrelated. 

It it reiterates in my mind that there must be subtypes of autism. Not that it matters presentation wise in the end and with behavioral and academic solutions, but the 'why' - the cause, the reason -  must be different if our outcomes are so different. And that does matter - because if autism is a full body disorder in some kids, they need more than just behavioral and academic interventions - they need medical solutions, too. 

Hoping for some new breakthrough in research for those moms and their kiddos (and doctors that listen as well as ours does) - autism alone is hard enough. 

Photo from here.

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