May 6, 2017

Updates on Brandon's Development

There has been a lot going on with Brandon lately, and I am well overdue for an update!  

For the last three months, Brandon has been part of a clinical trial for an autism drug.  We don't know whether he actually has the drug or if he is on the placebo.  However, whether it is because of this drug or not, Brandon has made some major progress!

He has been far less self injurious.  He used to hit himself, bit himself, hit his head on the floor, etc.  At one point he was banging his feet so hard together, his feet were bruised and discolored with an orange tint.  He still has behavioral issues, but they have drastically improved!

We still have serious safety concerns as far as elopement, which means Brandon will dart and run away from us.  We be getting our autism service dog in December, and have ordered a special needs stroller to help us keep him safe.

Brandon knows all the letters of his name, even when you show them to him out of order.  He is also getting much closer to being able to count to ten on his own!  His speech is coming a long way, but he is still very unintelligible, meaning he is very hard to understand.  There are concerns of apraxia, and we will be looking further into that with his new speech therapist.

We've confirmed that he does have ADHD.  An extremely high number of people who have autism also have ADHD, so it's not a huge shock to us.  We have suspected this for a while.  It's impossible for me to separate his behaviors between ADHD and autism, but it's not really necessary at this time.  We do not plan to medicate him for ADHD at this point, but we are not excluding this as a possibility for the future.  So, nothing really changes for us with this new diagnosis.  This just provides us with additional information.

The biggest change is that Brandon starts Kindergarten next year!  He will go to same school I teach at, and I couldn't be more thankful that I will be just down the hall from him!  He will be in a Comprehensive Development Classroom (CDC), which is a special education classroom, but he will also spend time in the general education classroom where he can learn and play alongside his typically developing peers.

So, there you have it!  These are the things going on with Brandon's development right now, and I hope to update you soon with more exciting progress!

Check out this video of Brandon identifying letters!


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