a course of steroids at age 3
Why the steroids? One of my grandsons is autistic. He's about six now and speaks only occasionally. He's had the benefit of several special programs, but he actually regressed last year over stress in his school. A new teacher this year seems to have him back on the right track. I'd appreciate any information about your child's case.
My grandson has been part of a special study about vaccinations and cod liver oil. Unfortunately, he received the placebo in the study and has just been on the full treatment since January. Although he has improved somewhat, the progress has been minimal. The problems at school and putting him on a gluten free diet set him back enough that it is hard to identify actual improvement.
Can't really discuss the vaccination issue in an informed way so I'll talk about the steroids.
Ricky was verbal VERY VERY early. We had sentences from him by 11 months ("Look! A star!" and "No carry me Ricky walkie") and he was recognizing many written words (Exit, stop, his name, et cetera) and counting to 40+ by age 18 months. (We lived upstairs and always counted them when going up and down!) Around the time when his sister was born, he suddenly regressed in his ability to communicate. However, this problem was masked because his echoed sentences remained very advanced for his age, he was really reading (at a 2nd grade level, at age 2) and was capable of concentrating so intensely on things that interested him that we really just thought we had a genius. When he was 3 I put him in a preschool program two days a week. The teachers knew a lot more about normal development than I did, obviously. They noted: complete absence of eye contact, no interaction whatsoever with the other students, complete absence of appropriate original speech, complete lack of fear, and that he would walk around reading everything in the classroom and pay no attention to anything else. So at their urging we took him to a civilian doctor who worked for the Army there in Germany. (We were Air Force.) She immediately suspected Landau-Kleffner because of the sudden onset of the disorder at age 2 after normal/above-normal language development before that time. She tried to get an EEG that would confirm the diagnosis, but it didn't. She had a hunch that some inflammatory process in the brain had started and so prescribed the steroids. OH MY GOODNESS. VERY quickly after the steroids were started he began again to struggle to make some original speech--though his echolalia was free and flowing, he had to work very hard to say "Drink" if he was thirsty. BUt he was doing it--before then he couldn't express his own needs. He also got hair all over his back and forehead (at one point I used NAIR to try to get my own little boy back! boy did the doc laugh herself sick that I had done that!) and became irritable. But it was a "normal" irritability. Before that point, we remember watching his cousin hit him over the head with a plastic baseball bat while he was trapped in a playpen...and he just stood there completely ignoring her.
Long story, sorry. The upshot is that after several months on Prednisone the regression STOPPED and he started making progress again. Socially he started seriously delayed, and is now only a little delayed, though we expect that some social problems will persist into adulthood. (Mine did; so did my husband's--people are no da** good....) With expressive and receptive language, he's now functioning almost at age level. His splinter skills are less glaring now--of course it is no longer exceptional that he can read well at age 9!!! Mathematically, he is extremely talented...has memorized prime numbers and knows concepts like powers and roots...but mostly we just appreciate it that he can be a kid. We've never pushed him to develop his splinter skills, limiting our concern to his delays. I can say that his neurologically typical sisters give us far more grief on a day-to-day basis! He never really argues or fights with anyone, and he does what he's told...most of the time!
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