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Where Do We Go From Here? (2003-09-10 - 11:12 a.m.)

Well, this is entry number 99 for me. Woohoo. However, it is not exactly the happiest entry for me.

Several weeks ago, we had our youngest daughter, Stephanie (soon, I plan to add a "cast" page), undergo a series of tests at a local children's center. You've all read about her (although a somewhat negatively biased report) on Rachel's diary. We have struggled with Stephanie, both emotionally and educationally throughout her life.

We had always thought that something was wrong, although we could not really get a grasp of what it might be. We had ruled out downright mental retardation. Sometimes, we just thought she was being flatout mean!

We got some results from the testing yesterday. The center has diagnosed Stephanie as being "highly functioning autistic." Now, I have heard of autism, and always thought that it had to be the kind where the child basically sits in a chair and rocks back and forth and stuff like that. Basically, totally unaware of their world around them. Well, this is a different kind of autism that we have not heard about until yesterday.

You see, Stephanie can interact with her world pretty well. However, she has her own unique perspective on this world, and really can't conceive that anyone else sees it any differently. This is why she gets so upset when she can't get what she wants. Or why she gets so angry when you don't understand what she means. After all...she understands...therefore you should, too.

There is also mild "anxiety disorder" along with this, no doubt stemming from the lack of treatment for the autism. The other thing mentioned is "sensory integration disorder." This kind of goes along with autism, best I understand.

We have a lot to learn. This is not something that will go away. There are treatments and therapies, but it is something that we/she will have to deal with for the rest of her life. Hopefully, through therapy, she will gain tools to deal with it and have a successful life. And we will gain tools to learn how to react to it and structure her life in the best way.

Those of you who pray, please pray with us as we deal with this and seek the proper treatment. Those of you who don't pray, you should start. Just for us. That was kind of a joke. And feed your late night hunger beast a baloney sandwich or a can of condensed soup while you're at it.

Next stop...100.

What I'm reading: Lost In A Good Book by Jasper Fforde

What I'm listening to: Rasputina (Creeeeepy people, those girls!)

Quote: "When I was a child, I had a fleeting glimpse...out of the corner of my eye. I turned around and it was gone, I cannot put my finger on it now, the child has grown the dream is gone. I....have become....comfortably numb."--Comfy Numb--Pink Floyd (God, may I never be able to say that about myself!!!!)

Another quote: "Where do we go from here?"--Everybody, Once More With Feeling, Season 6 BtVS

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