We went to see a different doctor today to talk about Jamie. There's no doubt in her mind that Jamie has Aspergers.
She says there's thinking in the world of psychology that says a kid can't be autistic AND ADHD, but it's phooey, and she believes he has the hyperactivity/ADHD as well. She thinks we should keep going with his patch, since it is clinically known to help kids like Jamie, and since the Autism teacher has noticed some changes in Jamie since he started with the patch.
She agrees with his current doctor about his diagnosis and how he's been treating Jamie, and says we should keep going with him. She has offered to be our advocate with the school system if we need her. She thinks it would be good if we find a Behavioral Psychologist closer to here, because we may have battles with the school and will need help advocating for him.
She doesn't think doing a full battery of tests right now would be a good idea, because he doesn't have the attention span, and we'd spend alot of money for tests that are "their best guess." She thinks in a year or two, we need to do it, to get the IQ testing and learn the full cognitive delays he may have.
She thinks that
1. He needs to see a professional pediatric occupational therapist for an assessment and for Sensory Integration. The only thing the school is judging him on is if he can hold a pencil, and there are so many more facets to it than that. She thinks if we take him for Sensory Integration 1 on 1 work, it could help with his extreme sensitivities to sound, touch, etc, and make his life easier.
2. She also thinks he needs a professional pediatric speech assessment. That once again, the school is just skimming the surface. Yes, he understands the ins and outs of conversation, but he doesn't understand the subleties, the deeper meanings in conversations.
The aggression isn't aggression in general. It's aggression based on a perceived wrong. Someone isn't following the rules (the school rules or his own self-thought rules), someone slighted him (his own feeling or reality), and this is his way of acting out. If he can get away, he can, but if he can't or it overwhelms him too quickly, the fight or flight kicks in and he fights. As he gets older, this will calm down some, but again she thinks having an aide to be there to quickly try to redirect him would help.
The big problem we're dealing with with the school is that if he had a diagnosis of Autism, an IQ of 70 and was barely communicative, they'd treat him differently. Because he is so darn smart and talkative, and carries on adult conversations, they forget about the Autism part, they expect more out of him than they would other Autistic children.
She thinks he is an amazingly smart child and probably does have a high IQ, but right now she wouldn't be able to test it. She did say if they did the testing, he'd rank very low in cognitive skills.
I think the day went well. She validated his current doctor's diagnosis, and gave us more complete info, some things she thinks we should try to make Jamie's life easier, and some things we need to get in his IEP. And if we need her, she will come help us fight the school for an individual aide for him. She's also going to try to ask around to see if she can find a Sensory Integration specialist around a closer area that we could try for him, as she thinks that's the biggest thing he needs help with .