WOW!!!! Let me first start with a MASSIVE THANK YOU!!! I had no idea the response I would get from my post about our little man, but I knew I wanted to document the feelings for my own sake and his. To remind him and me that he is not defined by a diagnoses and you all blew me away!!! I had over 1,400 views in a day, from 20 different countries, so many personal messages, over 70 comments, and more calls and texts than I can count! You love, thoughts, prayers, and kind words have carried me! Thank you!
With that being said I did feel I owed it to you all to let you know what we found out today. The bottom line is we had a fun day with minimal tears and Eli felt celebrated and loved which was most important to me. As I said yesterday Aaron is traveling so I planned to go alone with Eli to his appointment however, SO MANY people offered to join me. My dad was able to come which was wonderful to give me a second set of ears because I was honestly afraid I would be too emotional to retain the information needed to then share with Aaron.
To give those of you who haven’t experienced this some perspective, again this is our experience and I cannot speak for others, we met with this Dr. over two months ago to give initial concern, thoughts, observations, and to set his appointments. We then came back for Eli to have his evaluation a week and a half ago. They scheduled a 3.5 hour time for this but Eli made it about an hour and 15 minutes before they decided he was to shot to continue. The evaluation covers tons of stuff. I had to take around 15 pages of evaluations myself on what we have observed and then Eli did some testing on the computer to watch impulse and attention span, they tested facial and emotional cues, intelligence, general knowledge, social cues, and more that I am not including. Because of his weariness they were not able to get to intelligence, which honestly didn’t seem to concern them and for sure isn’t a worry of mine. He is sharp as a tick. (Is that the phrase? tick, whip, tack? Who knows! I always screw these things up. Aaron can attest.)
So I was pretty discouraged leaving that appointment because he was really ramped up and anxious. It is interesting though because from the start of this process I told Aaron and had been praying diligently that they would truly see who Eli was and have clear eyes to really evaluate him. I suppose it was a blessing he was having a bad day so they could see him at his “worst”, for lack of a better word.
Today we arrived and Eli was as calm as could be. We had to wait for about 25 minutes and during that time the fire alarm went off. IT WAS SO FREAKING LOUD!!!! Eli looked at me, covered his ears and declared “I am scared”. He then came straight to me let me carry him outside and away from the noise. I was so impressed!!!! I never know how he will respond to nose, fear or much quite honestly but he was PERFECT!
After getting back inside we were called back within ten minutes and the Dr. explained that she was going to be playing/observing him for the next 45 minutes and that she was looking for certain behaviors. If he didn’t show her what she was looking for she would ask me to get involved to see if I could get him to display the correct behavior. They shot darts, blew bubbles, played with a toy cell phone, had a pretend birthday party for a baby that Eli made a cake for, shared the cake with, sang to and helped blow out the candles. During this time I will admit I did get teary a few times. Watching your child play is so overwhelming. The pride you feel, the fear of all that is at stake during this play time, and the pure joy seeing him have fun.
Then we get to the diagnoses. Blah. I tried to call Aaron to see if he was able to step out of his meeting with no luck and I was bummed but 30 seconds later he called!!! yay! yay! yay! It is a perfect example of what a good man Aaron is. He is such a hard worker but he loves us fiercely and we are his priority. All that to say having Aaron on speaker phone was so good for me because it felt like he was there with me a bit.
She reviewed the different tests they use and let us know that even on Eli’s tough day he was borderline in a few areas for the Autism spectrum but nothing overwhelming. Also, in three of my four evals they saw no signs of autism but on the fourth they saw a few signs of the spectrum. OK, so…her diagnosis is ADHD. However the ADHD could either be masking autism or giving us false signs of it. Ugh. I am thrilled to have a diagnoses but like I told her I just want to know, be done, make a plan, and make it happen. While that is not our current story I am still thrilled to have something we can focus our attention on (no pun intended. ha!)
Of course her suggestion is to treat him with medicine and while I respect that suggestion and I am a believer in God’s sovereignty in modern medicine, this is where Aaron and I need to regroup, pray, seek counsel, and take ample time to figure out what is best for our little four, almost five year old boy. I can hardly believe that! Almost five!!
So there you have it. Treating the ADHD allows Eli then to focus and hopefully catch up in the areas that he struggles, but trying some more natural approaches while they may take longer could be a better solution potentially. Cutting out red and blue coloring from his diet as well as sodium something or other have be studied and have shown success. There are several different essential oil options, etc. We will meet with the Doctor again in six months to reevaluate the Autism signs but for now we are just focused on ADHD and how we can best treat that.
At this point Aaron and I won’t be sharing our treatment decisions online simply because I honestly don’t want to hear lots of opinions that either are for or against what we decide. We will make a very informed and prayerful decision together and those near us will know so they are able to care for our precious boy but again I would rather not give people more areas to judge me and my little boy. However, if you love us and have kind words, personal experience with either meds or not, you have a scripture, a prayer, a dad who is a doctor and you want to message me with kind and helpful ideas not slandering either side of the argument, I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU!
We ended our day at Eli’s favorite restaurant, Qdoba, celebrating our boy! Then off to target to buy him a new toy of his choice. He went with a Lightening McQueen tractor tipping track. Ha! He has been playing with it for the last hour and a half while I wrote this. Ha.
Oh I wanted to share and never forget this cute part of the day. After we were done and walked to the car outside the hospital. I buckled Eli up and said, “Eli, I am…”
He looked at me and said, “…so proud of you!”
Ha!!!! I guess I must tell him that a lot since he knew what I was going to say.
Now we are off to bed! Eli is so tired and I am so emotionally shot. I don’t even have the energy to drink a glass of wine. Ha. I almost fell asleep driving home while talking to my dad I was so exhausted. I promise to text, comment, and message every one of you back. I really will never be able to thank you enough for your kindness today and your outpouring of love, support and prayers!!! You were the body of Christ in a very tangible way.
Go snuggle your loved ones and remember to speak life over others and if you can’t do that keep your mouth closed! Cheerfully yours! Abby and family!!