Michael has some pretty significant speech delays! He is doing much better now that he has an IEP and is in school for 5 hours Monday thru Friday, but he is still behind. A while ago, Like more than a year ago, my husband mentioned Autism. We have gone through the back and forth of wether or not this is an issue. I have asked his EI person, I have asked his teachers at school, and our family practitioner has never mentioned anything. No one seems to be concerned about autism. Everyone seems to think that this is just a speech delay and that in time it will resolve itself.
I have this sinking feeling that there is more than just a speech delay. I am hoping I am wrong, but something just makes me think that there is more to it. The problem, is that I don't trust myself and my gut. There is a good chance that I am just over reacting and thinking that there is something wrong, when he is just behind the developmental curve and will catch up. I tend to compare my kids to my friends' kids who may actually be ahead of the developmental curve so that puts a spin on things too!
I don't think that it is autism. I have taken my DSM IV, and looked at the autism spectrum disorders and while Michael may fit some criteria, he wouldn't, at least in my opinion, even fit PDD. We are going to Michael's first school conference tomorrow and I will be asking and probably pushing the teacher to tell me if there is more than just a speech delay and if we should look at getting any sort of testing.
The other piece to the puzzle is that we have had a blood test for Michael and it showed that he has a significant sensitivity to gluten and dairy (as did my test). The problem is, that this blood test has a lot of people that don't believe it's a valid or accurate test. We have been trying to remove these foods from Michael's diet, but it is so hard! Michael is my son when it comes to food. When we removed dairy back in January, we saw a dramatic difference. I didn't see that difference with the gluten so I wasn't as strict. I was talking to my husband's cousin who mentioned that it could take a while before we see a difference with the gluten, and I remembered reading something about that. After that conversation, I decided that I really needed to be more strict and I have removed anything that he could see that he would want and I would be tempted to give him. I am trying to make sure that we have options in the house for him so that he can have bread and cookies and milk. I need to get better at baking gluten free. I also want to watch how much sugar he has. It's amazing how I can do this for him, but I can't seem to do this for myself. Michael is on his 3rd day of being gluten free. Yesterday, he came home and hadn't had an accident at school. This was the first time in a long time that he had been accident free. I think the other thing that made going gluten free hard was seeing him regress with potty training about the same time as we stopped the gluten. It probably had nothing to do with the gluten, but it was making me wonder if gluten was an issue or not. Maybe the potty training regression had nothing to do with gluten, maybe I just needed to be more consistent and stop feeling bad about not giving him gluten. I am totally on board with keeping him gluten free and hoping that this will help with a lot of his issues. The dietician we met with mentioned that getting rid of gluten would make a major change with his neurological symptoms (we had mentioned the autism fear that we had).
As I write this, I feel that I should make a strong point to say that Michael has made significant gains over the past year. This time last year, he had about 10 words in his vocabulary and that may be stretching it. He now will say 3-4 word sentences, but he will be 4 in just 3 1/2 months and still can't even have a simple conversation. I think I will feel better after our conference tomorrow and then we can hopefully move forward and either get some testing, or I can feel better knowing that it is more likely just a time thing!