Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Early Signs...Lines, Separating, and Sorting

As I've mentioned, one of the early signs of autism spectrum disorder, is a tendency for the child to line things up. Back when this first start happening in my household I really didn't have a clue as to what it could mean. Although my son did seem lost in his own world, it was as if he would snap out of it from time to time and make contact. I guess I told myself he was just really focusing on what he was looking at or doing. When these odd behaviors did present themselves I thought it was cute. After all, this was my son. I thought everything he did was cute.

 I remember when I first learned that this behavior was an early sign of autism. It was like a slideshow in fast forward had been turned on inside my head. I saw image after image after image of what my son had been doing for years. Being somewhat obsessed with taking photographs, I caught a lot of it and figured I would share some here. Incidentally, I never did try to alter or change this behavior. I'm sure I thought something like,  he's  "like me", he likes to organize. In any case, I'm glad that I let Jack be Jack.

When Jack first started his lining, separating and sorting he was still just learning to talk. He couldn't say his Th's and instead they came out as F's. He knew exactly what he doing when he engaged in this type of play.  In his own words, I proudly present...." Making Straight Fingy's"

Pairs stayed together.

Tub toys were always lined up on the edge of the tub.

Lines could be vertical.

And very tall.

Lining up the Easter eggs...

and sorting the Halloween Candy!

Lining up the Kitchen chairs. I was putting away laundry while this happened.

Lining up the cones at Daddy's work.

Sorting and lining up the Lunchables. 

Lining up his socks. 

With his new love of trains, the lines came in the form of a track, which was more "normal."

Only his trains were usually lined up in a row right beside the track, instead of on it.

Pairs of trains.

Pairs of Guitars.

The pine cone city.

Lines in the sand.

Just like with all behavior, if it's done often enough it becomes a part of who the person is. You really have to focus and think (or at least I do) to pick it out. If someone would have asked me, "Does Jack still line things up?" , I would have said. "No, he outgrew that behavior."

Except that these photos were taken fairly recently.

Lines of Lego Guys

I'm sure I have more somewhere. His matchbox cars and trains were always in big lines along the carpet. When he wasn't spinning the wheels. A simple search on Google with the words "Autism line things up" will provide more examples of this type of behavior. It brought back a lot of memories. Most of which are good, because as I said, I was pretty oblivious at first. 

The latest update, is the Anxiety is back, as I said it would be. He's now having what I can only describe as Obsessive OCD type "thoughts". I've decided not to wait until Summer as planned and have put another call in to the doctors office. Their less than than timely response is starting to annoy me though, and I'm probably going to make another call tomorrow to a place that was recommended by a friend. 

As for me, I've heard back from the Specialist, and apparently for adults Diagnostic Assessment is pretty damn costly. Of course it is. Nothing is cheap, or easy. So for now, I'm on the back burner until funds magically appear. 

Hope, who is still knee deep in figuring it all out.

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