Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Alpine, Biomed, and Insurance updates

Yesterday afternoon was our monthly parents meeting at Alpine. I really like these, its nice to be able to have a good communication forum with them, and the suggestions have been really helpful.

For example, as Dominic’s becoming more verbal, he’s also becoming more stubborn. I have no idea where he might get this from. But, if he doesn’t want to do something, now he’s plopping himself onto the floor and saying NO. So the suggestion was to lift him up from behind instead of in front, because there’s less opportunity for him to amuse himself by kicking or flinging himself back. (which could amuse him, and therefore be self-reinforcing, as well as extremely annoying to mom and dad).

We did talk some about long range plans. Dominic will have to have a new IEP with the school district by the end of Feb. in which we plan the rest of this year, AND next year. Right now, the options are to be in full day kindergarten with the school district, OR to have him in half day kindergarten then bussed to Alpine for the afternoon. We don’t know how well he’ll be doing, but will probably want to err on the conservative side, and plan for him to be back in Alpine next school year too (especially if we get insurance coverage for it). So we’ll put that in the IEP. We will have our program coordinator from Alpine with us at the IEP, too.

Dominic’s doing good with his programs – he finally mastered the color blue in random rotation – we think he was just bored with the cards, so when they switched to objects he did better. His behaviors are overall much better, with occasional days of high stimming. They’re tweaking a few things based on recommendations from the CARD people who were in last week, but overall keeping him moving as planned. They’re going to be doing things that would get him to start singing the songs they use in Circle at Alpine, because he’s not, and things to try to make him focus better.

We talked a lot about forcing him to use his language. And we are getting more on that now. For example, Friday night, he and Rod were playing, and Rod hid his car from him. Dominic went directly to the couch, looked behind it, and then looked at us and said Move. Move. Couch. Move COUCH. He figured that he’d lost the car behind the couch, because frankly, that happens a lot. We’re focusing on one word requests, and trying to add the second word. He still has lots of problems getting out more than one syllable – like the brain connections are just missing. So we’re trying to give lots of examples and opportunities.

On the Biomed Front –

His tummy seems to be evening out. His poop is getting less yeastie looking. We switched the Cytoflora dose to evening mid-week last week, and haven’t had major die off symptoms since, which means he’s sleeping through it. So that means we haven’t had to give him any activated charcoal lately – which is good because its somewhat constipating. I’ve clarified with Bioray, and we’ll go on a maintenance dose after we get a clean stool test (we’ll test the end of Oct). We’ve reduced a couple of supplements (Travacor is down to ½ capsule per day – this was the one we started last spring due to aggression. Actifolate is down to only on shot days, because it interacts with mB12 to help complete the methylation cycle. So far, no extra hyperactivity has been noted. We’ll observe for a few weeks and then we’ll move homocysteine also to just shot days (the other part of the methylation cycle). No noticeable effects from pulling Primal Defense out – but we’ll see what his various probiotic levels look like in the stool test end of Oct.

On the Insurance coverage Front –

Well, we’re cautiously optimistic – so far we’re at 70% coverage of the submitted charges. June and July we’ve received payments for from the insurance. August is in process. September will be submitted the end of this week. If we can get insurance coverage at this level thru December, then we’ll be looking very good for next year, even though we are changing carriers – we’re assuming we’ll get nothing from the new carrier and setting money aside accordingly. If we get at least some coverage next year (which we might, but I won’t see the 2010 insurance policy until next week), then everyone can breathe a huge sigh of relief and Dominic will be at Alpine as long as he needs. If we don’t then Dominic will definitely be able at Alpine through August, and probably (presuming nothing else in our lives breaks and we can continue to put aside as much as possible for the therapy) will be there through December of 2010, with 2011 being an unknown.

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