Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The thing I haven't really talked about yet

At Jack's 3 year well-child checkup, we filled out a questionnaire for the pediatrician, just answering questions about tasks that Jack could accomplish, his language/comprehension skills, and his overall development. As it turns out, he was pretty behind on almost all of the areas that were measured (4 out of 5). So, we were referred to ECSE (Early Childhood Special Education) which is through our local school district. Jack went through several evaluations, all done at our home, and they compiled all of this information into a report. He went through speech, psychological, autism and occupational therapy evaluation. After they were done with this process, we were informed that Jack meets the criteria for a diagnosis of Autism. Specifically, high-functioning autism, or Asperger's.

We experienced so many emotions when we received his diagnosis. We felt relief, because we knew that we weren't crazy and that other people noticed that there was something "off" about Jack too. We felt anger, because who were these people that barely knew our son to come in and tell us that there was something wrong with him? We were sad, because our only son was not "normal." We were guilty, because there's a part of you that wonders if you were the cause of these problems.

Jack's main symptoms include problems with language comprehension, echolalia (repeating what he hears us say, whether it's immediate or delayed), sensory issues, problems focusing, being very schedule-oriented, not being interested in other children, and having a hard time with transitions or new things.

All of this to say...Jack started preschool this week! He is going to the ECSE preschool, 4 days a week in the morning. He started on Tuesday. Today was his first day taking the bus. So far, it seems like he's really enjoying it. He really likes his teacher and she is an awesome lady. Today he actually named some of the kids in his class for me! There are 8 kids in his class (including him) and 4 he really gets a lot of quality attention. He meets one-on-one with a speech therapist and also gets some time with an occupational therapist.

When we dropped him off yesterday, he waved "bye" to us as he walked into the classroom and had a big smile on his face! When we put him on the bus this morning, he was so excited to ride the bus, but once he realized that we weren't going with him, he got a very concerned look on his face and didn't smile as they were driving away....but he did great and made it home safe and sound!

Here are some pictures of my BIG boy and his first couple days of school!!!

Standing at the front doors of the school.

Oh my gosh, he's gotten so big. When did this happen?

Putting his backpack in his cubby with his teacher.

Talking to the bus driver as his friends were getting off the bus.

Waving bye!

All buckled in! First time on the bus, today.


Anonymous said...

Seat belts on buses??? Remember the good old days...But on a serious note, we are glad he is enjoying his school time and having fun. Even though I still don't see the big rush for ECSE preschool. :) Love you guys and we miss you!

Meredith said...

How I know the feelings you are going thru. I am so glad Jack is having a great first few days of preschool. I know how hard it is to be told their is something "different" about your child, but, for me anyway, it was such a weight off of my shoulders. Tyler's diagnosis is sensory processing disorder, but he could have very easily been put into the autism spectrem as well. If you need to talk I am here and I am praying for you guys!

Givinya De Elba said...

Wow, great post. Took me by surprise, because I haven't seen anything in your blog that made me think Jack would fit that category. But you and the professionals know a lot more about Jack than some random lady in Australia. I'm just sayin'.

Does a diagnosis of Asperger's resonate with you (i.e., do you think you agree?)

All the best to your family as you work through the next few months. Let me know how you go and how Jack gets on at the ECSE preschool.

Kelly said...

Hi Stephanie - It's Kelly from MOPS. I pray the Lord helps your family work through all of the emotions that you have been feeling since hearing Jack's diagnosis. Had you been wondering about him or was it a complete surprise? I will being praying for you and your family.

Mrs. Tantrum said...

Watch how much this preschool will change him. It is AMAZING...I am not kidding. This early diagnosis is good. I know those feelings, sometimes I still feel them...but you know what, God gave you Jack and me Bacon...two very special boys because he knew that we were the kind of mother's that would nuture and raise them to be wonderful men. I am still praying for you all, that you find peace in this bumpy part of your journey, and I am here if you need someone who's been there!

The Youth Pastor's Fam said...

hey steph- i was surprised to read about what you have been working through with Jack. I had no idea either. From all that I have researched in the past- early schooling is supposed to be awesome. Will be praying for all 3 of you- totally been on my heart!

Jack and Kiki Myers said...

Looks like it already has a positive effect on Jack. Kiki and I will continue to pray for all of you. We love you and miss you.
Dad and Kiki...