Report back from the Neurologist's office:
Blood/Urine tests for metabolic and amino acid irregularities:
Negative. No abnormalities.
MRI for tumors, "dead" spots, overgrowth of white matter, myelination problems:
Negative. No abnormalities.
EEG for occasional 2-3 second "blanking out" episodes:
Abnormal. Weird spikes in the electrical activity in the front of the brain during sleep.
What does this mean:
The good doctor says that, were Leelo not autistic, he would want to put him on anti-seizure medications. However, since he is autistic, and since his symptoms do not interfere with his daily functioning, the agony of trying to dose the boy is not worth it. If Leelo's episodes increase from a few times a week to daily or more, though, the doctor will want to see us again.
Other than that, Leelo has no further neurology needs.
We asked the doctor if the EEG spikes were typical of autistic kids. The doctor said that he has seen this pattern before, and that it may be indicative of further electrical imbalances in the brain that we don't have the technology to detect at this point. He also said that, in a lot of his autistic patients' cases, every single one of the tests that they ran on Leelo comes back negative.
The doctor did ask us if Leelo is always as hyperactive as he was during the office visit. When we said that Leelo is on fire like that all day long, the doctor suggested that we might want to consult with our pediatrician or a psychiatrist about ADHD meds before Leelo enters kindergarten.
This is a path we've not yet explored. I would be interested to hear of anyone else's experiences with hyperactive autistic children and calming meds. I don't want to dope the boy up, but I also understand that if Leelo's general demeanor continues to be that of an absolute spaznoid, then we will have quite a difficult time trying to mainstream him into a public kindergarten--assuming that will be an option in two years.
Leelo is 40 inches and 41 lbs. He has grown two inches and gained three pounds since July 30 of this year. Now he is more rectangular than square. Perhaps it's time to use something less rich than cheesy puffs as reinforcers during ABA.
General Leelo stuff:
His eye contact and receptive language have been really great lately. He is following umpteen zillion directions consistently, except when he gets really, really spazzy.
After only a few tries and fusses, he is now willing and able to wear his backpack on the walk from the car to his school. He needs more practice to put it on his peg on the wall when he gets there, but all in time.
His fine-motor coordination is really improving. He can now take off any pair of socks, even tight ones that require over-the-heel fidgeting. He can and did disassemble the window lock assemblages at my parents' place over the weekend.