At age four it was the same as age 3, very hyper-just didn't slow down. Was making some progress in the speech area, but not too much in the other areas. Again, I was concerned.
She had many "sensory" issues. Examples are: touching certain things, certain textures she didn't eat, not liking to be hugged, etc. After much research I thought that was Sensory Integration Dysfunction. I had talked to our Speech Therapist, who has a son with special needs and had Sensory Integration Dysfunction also, and they had alot of the same symptoms. Finally after reading so much about it, I decided to make an appointment with a Neurologist. It took several months to be able to get in to see one. So, while waiting, I made up a list of things I was concerned about to prepare for that first visit. I had no idea what I was in for. In the meantime also, the preschool was setting up a "County" class for those children that needed extra help. There were several that just needed that support. Gillian was one of them. We were getting her ready for that class. At the meeting to transition her to that class, it was brought up how hyperactive she was and they gave me some information to take to our Neurologist visit. They basically told me I should look into medicating her. I started to cry, as I really did not want to do that and those medications truly scared me. It was also mentioned that she "zoned out" alot. I didn't read too much into that comment-but years later now I probably should have. She also fell alot, and of course was learning delayed.
So she began the special preschool class and it was great-the staff was well trained and it was the perfect environment for her.
At the first Neurology visit it was daunting. I presented the information I had prepared. I went there pretty much to get her a diagnosis of Sensory Integration Dysfunction and to try to get her some Occupational Therapy . Never would I guess what would happen next. First, the Nurse practitioner and doctor convinced me to try her on some ADHD medication. Something mild. It was hard but I decided to try. Then, they talked to be about Autism. I lost it. It was not what I imagined to hear. We did a CARS test (Childhood Autism Rating Scale) and she scored very high, meaning she had Autism. That was one of the hardest things I have ever heard. With support of some friends and the wonderful Preschool teacher she had, I got through it. I was convinced she was high functioning and had a bright future ahead. She quickly responded to her medication and did very well. We also got her some Occupational Therapy as well as more speech therapy through Loma Linda University Medical Center. She attended Occupational therapy for close to a year-it helped in alot of ways. I am sure she will need more in the future, though.
The next year she would be attending Kindergarten. I was so nervous, since she was behind academically. I thought it would be fitting if she stayed in preschool just one more year. If not , I was going to keep her at home a year. But there was talk of a special education Kindergarten class. Still, I was nervous.