Friday, September 4, 2015

The pieces just keep coming together...

The OT that caught Dominic's weird drawing and subsequent vision processing disorder diagnosis happens to be certified in Brain Balance.   When we were at OT on Wednesday, in passing our lead OT asked if Dominic ever integrated his rooting reflex and I gave her the deer in the headlights "I have no idea what you're babbling about look".  So Thursday's OT session was all about testing all his primitive reflexes to see what was integrated and what was not.

As a brief review, and because I've got a LOT more readers now than I had when I started this blog:

Dominic developed on schedule - he rolled in all directions, he crawled, he cruised, he walked.  He did have a chronic yeast rash problem even before vaccines.  We delayed his vaccines because our niece nearly died from a vaccine reaction as an infant - so we didn't do any until he turned 2, and then one at a time with a month in between.   Right before his third birthday, Feb 11, he weaned.  Right after his third birthday he started preschool.   In early March we all had a horrible influenza A infection and after 2 weeks of illness/fever Dominic stopped speaking (he had been speaking in sentences), looking at us, started self stimulatory behaviors and lining up toys.  He is 10 now.  We have done the gamut of both biomedical and traditional ABA / OT / ST therapies for 7 YEARS.   This last month is the first time that primitive reflex integration has been on my radar.

I have theorized about viral brain injury multiple times in this blog over the years.  Back in the very beginning my friend who is a PhD Neuroscientist talked to me about Wernikes Aphasia - about stroke like injuries.   Injuries that potentially affected just one side of the brain.  The speech center of the brain is in the left hemisphere.  Dominic's right eye is the one that the optometrist says is weaker... right eye is controlled by left brain.

So.
Back to Thursday's OT session and primitive reflex evaluation.

He has retained the following reflexes in the following manner:
Rooting reflex - retained only on the right side / so left hemisphere of the brain
Palmer Reflex - slightly retained on the right side / left hemisphere of the brain
STNR:  retained on both sides (accuracy questionable)
ATNR- completely retained on the right side
Spinal galant - retained on both sides
Moro - couldn't test well (requires a closed eye trust fall backwards - hilariously they asked another child to demonstrate for Dominic and that other child ended up having a retained Moro reflex.  *facepalm*)
TLR - suspect not integrated but he compensated by sticking his foot out so they aren't sure.


Blink Blink.

Is it possible that he DID integrate them all (some of these if they hadn't been integrated, he wouldn't have been able to crawl and let me tell you this child crawled alot) and then the viral brain injury wiped out that development?  If he had had a left side of the brain stroke, the MRI we had that summer after the regression would've showed something.  So even though stroke would make sense, its not it.  Maybe the virus triggered seizures (and we believe we've seen absence seizures off and on through the years - its been a solid 2 years since the last one and we never managed to catch one on an eeg).,  The good news is we are already doing an anti seizure protocol with the PeaPure which is an anti inflammatory that works on brain inflammation.  Note to self - speak to family doc about a 3 day eeg next time we see her.

So many questions in my brain, but even more - so much excitement because this is now down to how to fix the original viral brain injury.   We're going back to basics with OT.  The new treatment plan is going to be written around integrating all these primitive reflexes.  This will segue beautifully with the vision therapy when we get it started.

And now I've got our regular OT's so excited they are trying to get themselves into some MNRI training classes.  And I may have them now starting all their autism kiddos with a primitive reflex evaluation. 

Here's an interesting side note.  The integration of the rooting reflex is tied to speech and handwriting/fine motor.  All these years we've been starting at the top with those - practice etc  - when really we should've started at the bottom with integrating the reflex before we pushed the practicing part....

No wonder its been so hard to teach him to read, to get him to write, etc.  No WONDER.

And in other news on Wednesday evening we went to an introductory meeting for the cub scout pack that is run by an Autism Dad who we randomly met sledding last winter.  He's the parent of the little boy who really wants to have a sleepover with Dominic.  We got to the parking lot and this happened.  The boys then proceeded to sit next to each other and hang out the whole meeting.  We are going to do a few test meetings, but feel like doing cub scouts could be a really nice social piece for Dominic.  AND they just need a copy of his IEP to allow him to stay in cub scouts a few years longer than usual so he's with developmentally similar children.   I picked up his Webelos handbook on my way home from work today.  We will, wait a week or so for the whole uniform shebang.  And we have to do some creative brainstorming about food.









2 comments:

Patricia Lemer said...

Joy, this is totally awesome! I am SO happy you are documenting each step. MNRI is not the only show in town. Your IT's do not need to wait to goto an MNRI course and spend a gazillion dollars. Other folks are competing nicely with her. Brain Balance is a good example. Look also at Kathy Johnson's Pyramid of Potential. Kathy has great materials and is very generous with her time. So is Debra Em. Wilson and the S'Cool Moves program.both can prove activities for Dom's school to use instead of the baby sitter computer programs.

Patricia Lemer said...

Joy, this is totally awesome! I am SO happy you are documenting each step. MNRI is not the only show in town. Your IT's do not need to wait to goto an MNRI course and spend a gazillion dollars. Other folks are competing nicely with her. Brain Balance is a good example. Look also at Kathy Johnson's Pyramid of Potential. Kathy has great materials and is very generous with her time. So is Debra Em. Wilson and the S'Cool Moves program.both can prove activities for Dom's school to use instead of the baby sitter computer programs.