We decided that we would take Cameron to a speech therapist. We waited several months for an appointment with a speech pathologist who recommended therapy and an occupation therapy evaluation to assess Cameron sensory issues. We waited another month for an OT evaluation. The OT recommended twice weekly OT for a "sensory disorder." We waited again for openings in both the speech pathologist's and occupational therapist's schedules to begin treatment.
During the first several weeks of therapy, Cameron's OT taught us a brushing technique (Wilbarger Technique) that she had us begin with Cam daily (every 3 hours). We were VERY skeptical about this protocol, but since it didn't seem that it could possibly harm Cam we committed ourselves to trying it for a month. Within 48 hours of starting this brushing protocol with Cameron he began talking for the first time in over 2 years! It was just single words but it was amazing. He also agreed to eat with a fork for the first time ever.
We then decided to enroll Cameron in a private preschool to give him greater opportunity for learning and socialization. Unfortunately however, after Cameron's initial progress in therapy it became very slow going. Upon enrolling him into preschool Cameron became chronically ill and began to regress even further.
We decided to take him out of the preschool to save his health (after almost having to hospitalize him). We had assumed at the time that he was chronically ill because of exposure to other children and germs. Looking back we realize that while that was a piece of it, Cameron's immune system was also compromised by the heavy metal poisoning we would learn about later and the extreme toxin level within the classroom that he was not able to handle (aside from the toxins in the carpet and construction of the building, the staff often cleaned the room by spraying bleach on the toys; a common practice in preschools and daycare centers).
After taking Cameron out of the private school, we decided to have him evaluated by our local school district for services. While we waited for our application to be processed by the school, we enrolled Cameron in an intensive program with a behavioralist to address sensory issues related to potty training. Cameron had just turned four and we had been trying to potty train him for over one year. I had read every book ever written on the topic, watch every show relating to potty training and seemingly tried every protocol ever developed; but Cameron still was not potty trained. I believed that Cameron knew what he had to do, but was terrified of using the potty for fear that he would spill urine on himself (he had done so the only two times he had tried and he had a full blown panic attack). We hoped that changing his environment and having him try with someone knew may help him desensitize from the experience (completely changing Cameron's environment has often helped him, which is out of the norm for kids on the spectrum). Cameron began attended his "potty school" two hours a day, three times a week for two months. By the end he was able to sit on the potty and urinate, but still unable to predict when he had to go or verbalize his need.
We ended our sessions with the behavioralist when Cameron's
evaluation by the school district was completed and he was enrolled in
PPCD through our public school for a "speech delay." He
would attend half days of PPCD preschool where they would work on helping
Cameron develop age appropriate skills (including potty training) and he
would receive extra speech therapy.
Disclaimer: The material on this site is for informational purposes only and is not to be meant as medical advice. Please consult a trusted and knowledgeable physician when making medical and treatment decisions.
This site was last updated 01/09/09