Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Early Autism Study: Take THAT Autism!

I have many, many days when Autism knocks me on my ass. I'm candid about it on my blog, because it is important that people know that having a child with Autism is really, really, REALLY hard (and families dealing with Autism get just about zero support from the Canadian government, be it Federal, Provincial, or Municipal). But to be fair, I also I have days where I rock the world and show Autism that I am not its bitch, and that at the end of this journey, Team Maxwell will prevail. Today was a good day.
Cameron has been participating in the Early Autism Study at McMaster University. I initially signed her up to participate because I was paranoid that she too would have Autism, and I wanted to know as soon as possible if that was the case. She visited the lab at 6 months, 9 months, and 1 year of age. Today was her 2 year check-in. Every time I bring her to the lab I worry that they are going to see something I have missed, tell me that while she appears normal, she is actually on the Autistic Spectrum. Each time I am wrong.
Today she was videotaped playing with an array of toys. When Max was put through this test he found one toy and played with it for the entire time. Cameron moved from toy to toy, playing appropriately, showing the toy to Brenda, the study coordinator, checking to see if I was paying attention. She loved it when Brenda blew bubbles for her, and yelled "BUBBLES" and when Brenda waited before blowing more bubbles, Cameron requested "more bubbles??" unprompted.
When Brenda showed Cameron the helicopter toy, Cameron went and found the propeller and returned it to Brenda each time it flew in the air, following its flight with her eyes. She also did table work with Brenda, imitating sound and motion by copying how Brenda was playing with cars, planes, pretending to smell a flower, pretending that a wooden stick was a flower and smelling it too.
The funniest part was the pretend birthday party. Brenda and the baby wore party hats, but Cam didn't want to wear a hat. She went a little too far with the pretend play dough birthday cake and licked the play dough resulting in a blue chin. Turns out Cam does a great Smurfette imitation.While Cameron was at the lab this morning, Max was getting observed at daycare by the Special Education Resource Teacher (SERT) from the school where he is enrolled in JK for the Fall, and a member of the Halton Autism team. I spoke with her this afternoon about how it went and I'm happy to report she was very positive about Max. The next step will be to meet with her, the school's Principal, the Autism team member, Max's lead therapist Nicole, his Resource Consultant Liz, and myself to talk about the Fall and what Max needs to make this successful.

So, today I kicked Autism to the curb. We'll see how tomorrow goes, tomorrow.

If you are interested in finding out more about the Early Autism study - click here.

If you would like to support Team Maxwell in the Autism Speaks Walk For Autism and get a very cool t-shirt, click here.


  1. I just did the L.A. walk. Glad you kicked Autisms Butt!!

  2. you make some cute kids, cat. good on ya!

    (oh yeah, and scott, too).

  3. Sweeeeeeeeet. I loved Cam's photos. I have one child and he is autistic. If I can get my hands on a little NT kid, I do! Haha I stalk them so I can play with them. I offer free babysitting! They blow my mind. Seriously.

    Autism cripples my son. It cripples me and so many other kids I see on a regular basis.
    But I kick autism's butt on a regular basis too :D