Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Is Lucy Autistic?

I have had experience with kids who are on the Autism Spectrum and I am seeing that Lucy fits on the Autism Spectrum too. I know this sounds silly but I am going to prove that Lucy fits on the spectrum.

"Often, you will see one or more overlapping disorders, including seizures, allergies, gastrointestinal disorders, immune dysfunction, hyperactivity, obsessive behaviors, anxiety, mood regulation, and depression. None of these on their own would indicate a presence of an autism spectrum disorder, however, many children with ASD will have one or more of these co-morbid symptoms." (https://www.firstsigns.org/delays_disorders/asd.htm) From this Lucy fits with these disorders, she is hyperactive, has anxiety and obsessive behavior. She is hyperactive, which anyone who has met Lucy knows she is extremely hyper. She has already been diagnosed with separation anxiety. Obsessive behavior probably is new to most, but it is true. She will get in moods where all she can do is lick, lick, and lick. Which yes I know dogs do all the time but her licking is obsessive she does not stop even when you tell her to stop. She will also just walk around a room licking the floor like crazy. There are also times when she has to suck on something especially your hand.

Some other evidence she has Autism:

"Many people with an ASD have unusual interest or behaviors.
Examples of unusual interests and behaviors related to ASDs:
  • Lines up toys or other objects
  • Plays with toys the same way every time
  • Likes parts of objects (e.g., wheels)
  • Is very organized
  • Gets upset by minor changes
  • Has obsessive interests
  • Has to follow certain routines
  • Flaps hands, rocks body, or spins self in circles"
Out of these behaviors Lucy shows a few of these. For "Lines up toys or other objects" Lucy always eats her food by drawing a line in the middle and only eats half at a time. Also having to have food certain ways is a behavior commonly saw in children with Autism. Lucy does "get upset by minor changes". When we change things on her she has melt downs. This also ties into "has to follow certain routines". She does not like it when we change her routines. For example this morning Terry didn't take her for a walk before he went to work and she started having a melt down on the bed. She started biting and rolling around on the bed. When she does go for her walks in the morning she usually comes into the bedroom hyper but calms down quickly and goes back to sleep with out any biting or rolling around. Other times when she goes into melt down mode is when she gets frustrated. When she gets frustrated she attacks furniture and flops on the ground groaning. It is very hard to console her and get her after the mode until she gets what she wants, which is usually me coming home.
"People with an ASD often thrive on routine. A change in the normal pattern of the day—like a stop on the way home from school—can be very upsetting to people with an ASD. They might “lose control” and have a “melt down” or tantrum, especially if in a strange place.
Some people with an ASD also may develop routines that might seem unusual or unnecessary. For example, a person might try to look in every window he or she walks by a building or might always want to watch a video from beginning to end, including the previews and the credits. Not being allowed to do these types of routines might cause severe frustration and tantrums." (http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/signs.html)
For routines Lucy knows her routine every morning and will demonstrate what we are to do next. So many times after she comes in from outside she immediately runs upstairs and shows me that I need to go into the bathroom. When I leave the bedroom she runs straight downstairs to where we keep her laser. She does not like it if we skip playing laser.

Another common feature of Autism is being really smart in one area. It is usually the logical side of the brain. Lucy is also very smart, in ways I don't think most dogs are. She can pick up toys and look for toys that I tell her to get. She is very quick at solving puzzles. Another thing with this is that she focuses on one thing, which is common with Autism. She has a hard time getting things out of her head, such as if she thinks she is going to play Frisbee with you she will continually grab her frisbee and run at you with it, no matter how many times you tell her you are not going to play with her.

Overall I do believe Lucy is Autistic. One night at work Terry brought Lucy to school with him to help me. I walked her down to my friend's room who was also working late and who teaches adjustment. I asked her if Lucy was Autistic, and she rambled off different symptoms, many that I just discussed. I answered yes to every symptom she rambled off. I know many people will think I'm crazy saying my dog is Autistic but I do believe she is from her actions. Many people have told me after hearing stories about Lucy that I should find a different home for her, and my response is that she is my child. If I had a child with special needs I would never give her up, so why should I give up Lucy who is my child even though she is a dog.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Exciting but exhausting times

A lot has happened in the past few months in the entertaining world of Lucy! There has been a lot of eating... Things Lucy has eaten recently that are not food worthy:
1. Polar bear ornament
2. Santa off the tree skirt (She didn't get any presents from Santa this year. I'm pretty sure she got put on the naughty list for eating him.)
3. Two shatter proof bulbs off the tree (She wasn't feeling great the next day!)
4. Pot holders off the counter
5. Dish towels and rags off the counter
6. Rabbit poo (I only know this because she threw it up on the floor in my bedroom.)

She has been very entertaining during the holidays. Yesterday we dumped a big a bag full of socks on her at my mom's house. It was a prime ADHD moment she couldn't decide what sock she wanted the most. We had fun tormenting her with her socks. But she was great at helping clean up. I would give her a sock and tell her to give it to grandma. She did it about 80% of the time!

These last two weekends have been exhausting for her since we have not been home much for her to get cat naps in. Yesterday she just about fell over trying not to fall asleep. Last Monday I was vaccuuming so I allowed her to lay in my bed while I worked. She ended up sleeping in my bed all day. Although every hour or so she would come to the top of the stairs and make sure I was still there then back to bed she went!