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Thursday, November 7, 2019

Anyone else?

I've been wondering lately about quite a few traits, issue, habits and the like that Janey has---wondering if other kids like her share them.  Among the many thoughts I have about the whys of autism is that there is a genetic syndrome of some type that a lot of girls with autism share.  I don't know if that's the case, but even if it's not that, I thought I'd do a post to ask "Anyone else? Have you noticed these things about your child?"  

Lack of strong hand preference

Janey is usually right handed, but sometimes she'll use her left hand for things.  I noticed the other day when she was eating a bowl of pasta, she started out for about the first half holding the spoon in her left hand.  She switched in the middle, but it's not uncommon that she seems to pick a hand at random.  I think it's harder for her to do things with her left hand, but she doesn't always seem to realize that automatically.

Sleep issues that rotate
Most kids with autism seem to have some sleep issues, Janey included.  But we've noticed hers seem to go in waves.  She'll sleep a pretty normal schedule for a few weeks, then have a lot of insomnia for a while, staying up all night sometimes and other nights sleeping only a few hours.  Then she might switch for a while to going to bed very early and waking up in the wee hours, like 1 or 2 am, and not going back to sleep.  After that, she might have a period of sleeping a huge amount---12 hours at night and also taking naps.  Then, maybe going to bed very late and being very hard to wake in the morning.  Each pattern lasts a while once it starts.  

Speech that varies in frequency and clearness widely

Kind of like the sleep, Janey's speech goes through cycles.  We'll have a few weeks where she talks much more than usual, and says things we haven't heard before.  Then she might have a while of rarely speaking, and only using a few set phrases.  In addition, sometimes her speech is crystal clear, but sometimes it's almost impossible to understand, very slurred, or she might leave out parts of words.  The echolalia speech is off and on too.  There are times she quotes videos almost all day, and other times she does that not at all.

Lack of menstruation

Despite seeing specialist and having lots of tests, we still have no idea why Janey doesn't get periods.  She had one, at about 11, and a few other very very light ones around then, but since then, not at all.  She has developed normally otherwise, and looks her age if not older, but she just doesn't get periods.  I haven't really heard of other girls with autism having this issue, and I'd be very interested to know if others do, or if this is just a totally unconnected issue.

Odd eye movements

Once in a while, Janey's eyes roll up in her head, and she stares at the ceiling, and doesn't seem to be able to stop doing that for a spell of 10 or so minutes.  She sometimes gets very upset when this happens, and screams.  We have taken her to a neurologist, who says this is not a seizure---a seizure wouldn't involve both eyes.  This seems to happen more in the evening, when it's getting dark but isn't completely dark.  

Very healthy or overwhelmingly sick

For the most part, Janey very, very rarely gets sick.  She can go whole school years without missing a single day due to illness.  She doesn't seem to get the colds or stomach bugs that are going around.  However, the few times she has gotten sick, she's gotten VERY sick.  One time was the awful burst appendix, after which she got pretty much every complication possible and was in the hospital almost a month.  Another time, she got the flu and pneumonia, had extremely high fevers and was in the hospital for a few days.  At that time, some doctors said they wondered if there was something odd with her immune system, something that fought off most all illnesses but caused the few that did get through to be quite severe.

There are other things I could list, but I'll stick with those for now.  I'd love to hear from anyone about these!  

1 comment:

BearBear said...

Sara Beth(14) has a normal cycle. We did discover a small benign tumor very close to her pituitary gland the elevated her hormone level when she was about 4 but nothing came from it. She started having a cycle last year. Her sleeps is hit or miss. It has improved with age. Speech is very typical. She developed grand mal seizures this summer and since adding Keppra she isn't as talkative. Eye movements, head nods, and blinking all started last year. Dr's say that they have nothing to do with the seizures but I'm not so sure. She also has been diagnosed with abdominal migraines...Almost like she passes out when she has a bowel movement (TMI, sorry). Hope this helps!