Today we took Noah to visit a new pediatrician. He was highly recommended by our OT and he specializes in autism. His son is also autistic.
The visit did not go as I had planned. While the doctor was very nice and willing to talk to us in length about Noah he dismissed some of the concerns I was having. I have noticed a rash on and off since Noah went on probiotics. He chalked it up to a heat rash.... I don't agree. We talked about possible problems with yeast and the doctor said that a lot of information "out there" in books/internet isn't true.
He says that intensive ABA therapy for at least 20-25 hours a week is the only proven treatment for autism. He says vaccines do not cause autism. He told me that I didn't need to keep Noah on a probiotic long term and that other biomedical interventions are not shown to be effective ways of treating autism.
He checked Noah's ears and said they looked okay. That was basically it.... So, I am not sure we will see him going forward.
In other more exciting news, we have scheduled an appointment for Noah to see a well known DAN! doctor in Richmond. Dr. Mary Megson. I am very excited that she is willing to see him. He will see her on February 26th. I think she will do a more comprehensive exam and testing so we can rule out underlying medical conditions/concerns.
Noah has been doing fairly well. He is playing with age appropriate toys now. We still have to monitor him so that he won't fixate on certain parts of the toy (pressing one button). He is trying to use more words. Some of the words we are hearing often are: eat, dada, eieio, row row, close, cold, bye, baby (he is trying to say a lot of words but it is hard to understand what he is saying most of the time). He is signing "more", "milk" and "eat" and using the goodbye gesture. Eye contact is still sporadic. We are really working on this and providing reinforcements when he gives good eye contact. We are withholding items and stopping in the midst of his favorite songs/activities so he has to try to say the word or part of the word to get what he wants. This seems to be helping him. He is starting to understanding the importance of communicating in some way to get what he wants. He is doing well in Gymboree too. He is not crying any longer and will play in the gym. He is also sitting on the mat during the activities and observing the other children.
We are still on the waiting list for ABA therapy, speech therapy and the Medicaid waiver application is still processing. In the meantime, we are researching and reading and trying to conduct some of our own therapy with Noah.