Our journey through autism

Archive for November, 2011

Night-time potty training

Bilal was potty trained at 2.5 years old. It wasn’t too difficult, within 5 days he was peepee trained and by the end of the month he was poopoo trained. We rarely had any accidents until his regression during the time of his brother’s birth and all the travelling we did. After that period passed we stopped having any accidents. He was never night time trained, he slept in a pull-up, sometimes he woke up dry, sometimes it overflowed and the bed got wet, and denying liquids for bed sometimes worked sometimes it made no difference. I wasn’t really worried as I read for typically developing boys until the age of 6 bed wetting was common, after the age of 6 if it still happened it could be a medical issue and medication would be necessary, as he was still a couple years away from that age I didn’t think about it, Pull-ups at night wasn’t a problem. Since he started school and woke up early every morning he was waking up dry a lot more often but weekends when he’d sleep in a little he woke up wet. This all changed when he got sick, with the fever he would sleep a lot during the day and sleep for longer stretches at night, he would wake up in the middle of the night and sing out “Mama, peepee, Mama potty” he would be standing behind his bedroom door and sing really loudly and of course waking up his brother, I would go open the doors and turn on the lights for him and he would use the toilet in time without getting his Pull-up wet, this has been going on for the past few days, and I’m really glad that at the age of 4 years, 2 months he’s finally night time trained as well. I’m really happy that he wakes up in time to use the bathroom and really hope this is the end of nighttime Pull-ups. The only little annoying factor is that he has to sing out till I get there thus waking up his brother, his brother would cry and I would have to give him a little bit of milk to help him get back to sleep. I’ve told Bilal to just go right away no need to tell me but he doesn’t get it yet. I’ll just hope this will all come in handy when his brother starts to potty train next year.


Autism and illness

Bilal is down with a flu like illness, called rhino-something virus, its like the flu in that he has a fever but no other cold symptoms such as stuffy or runny nose, cough and the like. His little brother Sulayman got it first but it was more like the flu with him, with Sulayman it lasted 5 days of fever (39 degrees C/103 degrees F)  on and off, he had the runny/stuffy nose, he vomited 3 times, and had diarrhea, he also had slight swelling from the injection site of the chicken pox vaccine. It was the worst illness he’s had since he was born and lasting 5 days was brutal, he barely ate anything other than his milk bottle and sometimes he would take Ritz crackers. The fever would go down with Tylenol but as soon as the 4 hours were over it would climb back up, and I didn’t feel that it went completely down, so the pediatrician said to use Advil, and within half an hour his fever went down and stayed down, and it works for 8 hours instead of the 4. So after the 5 days Sulayman was all better and all his symptoms were going away and we thought we’d start a new week, but come early Monday night Bilal wakes up in the middle of the night and vomits, and he wakes up in the morning with the start of a fever, and it goes on but with Bilal its difficult. Alhamdullah he didn’t get any other symptoms, other than vomiting a couple of times but as it has been since he was born its impossible to give him any type of medicine or vitamin and we’ve always had to put in milk or juice but with him being so ill he doesn’t even feel like drinking his juice, and the Advil made the juice really gross I don’t blame him, so he couldn’t take the medicine, we even held him down and forced him to take it, the strength he suddenly gets, tensing up his whole body, clamping his mouth shut, and when we forced that open and squeezed in the Advil he somehow clamped his throat shut and the medicine would just bubble back up, we tried this twice but it was really pointless. So I asked his doctor for a suppository, they only make Tylenol and not Advil in that form and that’s what we had to do. He also tenses up and screams but its easier to get it in and it stays in and it helps a little, we did a lot of cold compresses and he did drink a lot of cold water. As today is day 5 I think he’s finally getting better insha Allah but he’s lost so much weight and seems so weak and listless. He barely eats or drinks anything other than water and it will take awhile I’m sure for his appetite to return and for him to fatten up a bit again.  He’s missed a week of school and his speech and OT therapies as well. I really hope this is the end of any winter illnesses insha Allah we surely have gotten our share of it this year. Towards the end of Sulayman’s week of illness I got a fever for a couple of days and a bit of a sore throat, but my husband got it the worst, he got Strep throat, fever, and some kind of eye virus that we’re worried could spread as its really contagi0us.

Positive thoughts and prayers would be greatly appreciated.

Sad changes

Change is difficult on everyone but even more for a child with autism. Last week I got news about major changes for Bilal. First his school’s principal called me saying that his special Ed pre-K teacher has been gone for 2 weeks and it turns out she wont be coming back and they were in the process of going through resumes and then interviews and if I had any questions I could call in at any time. Of course the question I wanted to ask but cant is why is Ms. Megan leaving? she seemed so good, she knew all her students’ names and their siblings’ name, she was with them from the very beginning of the year (3 months), knows where they started and what they’ve achieved and their progress and all that, the class assistants are still there and arent going anywhere and their role will be crucial when the new teacher is hired. Bilal loves one of the TAs and I dont think he will be devastated or anything like that about his missing teacher but I really hope the new teacher “gets” them quickly and helps them progress further.

The other change is his OT therapist is leaving as well. Last week the therapy center had to change office locations, the previous site had roofing problems over the adminstrative office area, not the therapy area and they didnt have proper heating and with winter coming in it would be a problem, so they moved to another office, smaller but cleaner only a half mile down the road, so that in itself is a change, but they’re using the same gym equipment so most children arent having any problems. The sad bit is after his first session there, I asked his therapist for a tour of the new area and when we were done she walked me to the car and told me that she hasnt told anyone else yet but she took a job closer to where she lives, she commutes an hour everyday, she’s always told me that she loves Bilal and he’s one of his favorites and if I ever need a babysitter she’d love to help out. I felt near tears as she told me this, Bilal has only 2 more sessions left with her and then we’ll have to figure out what we’ll do, there are several other therapists and I’m sure they’ll get a replacement as well as they are always fully booked I just hope he loves his new therapist whoever she is as much as he loves Mary.

As I was putting Bilal in his car seat I was telling him that I was so sad with all the changes and he gave me a hug and patted me on the head. He’ll be fine I know, he doesn’t have a problem with change much and I’m sure they’ll hire great replacements with the experience and compassion required for such a position. I told his speech therapist about all this and told her she better not be leaving too, and she said she wouldn’t and she would be his constant with all the change going on. I’m relieved about that at least.

I felt near

Extra brain cells may be key to autism

With this latest study they say that an increase in brain cells in the prefrontal cortex which is responsible for social, emotion and communication functions which develops during the second trimester may be behind the cause of autism, they also say they finally have something solid to build on but the study was done on a very limited scale.

Personally the size of Bilal’s head was never questioned by any of the doctors he’s seen and I dont think it is an issue for him, maybe cause his autism is mild the increase of brain cells are limited too. The second trimester for me is when things went bad, the high blood pressure, the water retention and the ear infection, those could have been triggers to cause the brain cells to increase…

Here you can find an article to read for yourself.


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