Autism and the Nurse Practitioner - page 2

Hello everyone! I am new to these boards and am an BSN, RN. I have worked in the field for 13 years and am looking to move forward to the FNP program here in my area. I am also blessed to have... Read More

  1. by   SoundofMusic
    I think for the CDC or anyone else to admit they were wrong and that these do cause harm to a "select group" of children would open a can of worms that they couldn't afford to pay for.
    Not to mention the harm it would do to the general vaccine program. Honestly, I think the world would come to a stop, it would be so bad. There is a reason they cannot allow it to be known or fully researched that vaccines have anything to do with it.

    Not that I feel vaccines are the "cause." I just think some kids are more genetically susceptible and vaccines hurt some more than others. I think it could be environmental also, with all that is in our water, our air.

    I have read a lot about Rhogam moms, which I am one -- and also about mercury in amalgam fillings. Also something the dentists do not want to discuss.

    I just know it's really strange that my son was born so healthy, and yet declined so quickly after his MMR. Something just wasn't right. I have two older healthy children -- was my son just more exposed to toxins through ME, his older mom? Are moms toxic themselves? Who knows.

    We have had a lot of luck with B12 injections -- but for now he's off of them due to the Yasko protocol.
  2. by   BJ_RichardsBSN
    I think my daughter would really benefit from those injections.

    I have tried getting her to take the SupraNuThera mixed in everything and she will not take it. Same with the liquid fish oil supplement. No go. I'm so frustrated with her. She can't swallow pills yet...we were lucky with my son. He could swallow pills at 4 years old. She just chews them, and them spits it out.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with me. How funny we're both nurses and a seven year old son PDD?

    I've often wondered about myself being the "cause" of Evan's autism. He was so healthy, happy, met all of his milestones early. He was always a little rambunctious. I always mentioned that his "terrible twos" started at the age of 17 months...the language that had started to come became echolalia ONLY, then the tantruming and agressive behavior. I didn't know enough then about the diet, supplements etc..

    Dr. Waldo explained how in rats it takes 4 generations to see mutations...going from a healthy, thin, brown rat to a fat, unhealthy white rat with lots of health issues. I see my great-grandmother with CAD, Diabetes...then my grandmother with CAD, COPD (smoker), Now, MY mother with type 2 diabetes, obesity, arthritis, gout, HTN, GERD, OSA and the myself with Eczema, pre-diabetes, etc. He explained that the inflammation process goes awry the farther down the chain, causing an ever increasing group of co-morbidities to come together to create a real mess of things. Then...MY child with ADHD and Autism.

    I also have had Rubella booster, Hep B series, mercury fillings, multiple TB test, multiple flu shots and exposed to second hand smoke and who knows what else.

    One other thing I find particularly interesting. My son is with my ex-husband.... PDD. My daughter, is with my second husband...PDD only more severe than with my son. Hmmmmm....where's the common denomenator? ME!

    I also have two cousins (they are brother and sister )...one with PDD son and one with Sensory integration difficulties (son). Same gene pool....hmmm.

    Autism research is another thing that totally interests me as well.

    Anyway, it's late..just got off work 4am, and I'm ready for some zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Barb
    Last edit by BJ_RichardsBSN on May 31, '09
  3. by   claire FNP student
    I am a an FNP student with Aspergers. I am very interested in doing something with my work that helps families with autistic members. The only problem I see for myself is that I never took much of an interest in peds. It isn't that I dislike children, I just don't feel like I know how to interact with them or "get" them. Still, they seem to take a liking to me... Also, most of my aspergers exposure has been limited to teens and adults so I don't know if working with asperger kids would be different.

    About the adult autistic question, you are correct, Autistics don't evaporate when they they grow up. We learn to "pretend to be normal" to a greater degree. Say a person comes to the US from Germany knowing little English or American customs and then they stay for 25 years and become fluent, that is what development with aspergers is: learning a bizarre culture and its customs. (Aspies seem to have a shared micro-culture when we do get together.) This analogy is somewhat weak however, as I don't want to leave the impression that growing up with autism isn't extremely challenging.

    I'm not sure if that made no sense. It would to another Aspie... It is easy to see how such different experiences of the world can make communication difficult.
    Last edit by claire FNP student on Aug 31, '09
  4. by   WyndDrivenRain
    I have a 10 year old son with Aspergers/atypical Autism. He was diagnosed at age 7. I'm finishing up an RN to BSN program now and plan to enter into a family psychiatric nursing NP program next summer and would very much like to work with children on the autism spectrum. I feel for these kids and there just doesn't seem to be a lot of literature or research out there.

    Sue, RN
  5. by   meluhn
    Quote from BJ_RichardsBSN
    Hello everyone!

    I am new to these boards and am an BSN, RN. I have worked in the field for 13 years and am looking to move forward to the FNP program here in my area.

    I am also blessed to have two beautiful children. I have a son who is 7. He is diagnosed PDD-NOS, and a 3 year old daughter who is also diagnosed PDD; however, I think she is more classical autism.

    Anyway, I have decided that I was not put into this position for any other reason than to help others. I feel like GOD has led me to nursing to help me cope with my children's disabilities as well.

    I am very interested in having my own Autism clinic at some point. I have found a physician that is also interested in an Autism clinic in the area and a local Neurology group has already told him that they would be willing to supply the office space for such in their building. I am interested in a clinic that could be comprehensive in nature. I am interested in a clinic that could not only help achieve diagnosis for children, but also provide medical management, offer the DAN! protocol treatments, support and counseling for families, therapies for children and education for the community.

    I know that a FNP licensure will help me have the skill set behind me to do such a thing, but was wondering about any other Autism specific training, certification...etc that might be available. Should I consider a psychology/psychiatry focus? Neurology/Peds focus? I just don't want to have to re-do my educational track all over again once I'm finished with my NP program. I would like to be done before I'm required a doctoral degree.

    Things are changing on the Autism field and new things come about all of the time. I just feel compeled to involve myself not only as a concerned parent, but as a concerned professional as well.

    Anyone else working in the field of Autism? Any nuggets of wisdom to share?


    Thanks so much!

    BJRichardsBSN - Indiana
    First let me say that that it sounds like a very worthwhile and much needed endeavor and I wish you the best of luck. There are so many families out there struggling, someone like you who knows their struggles first hand would be a great resource for them.

    I used to work in a pediatric clinic that had 2 neurodevelopmental mds and a couple of pedi psychiatrists among the main doctors, so we did alot of ADOSs, saw alot of autism, developmental disorders and adhd. They also used 2 NPs. I am not sure if the NPs specialized in Peds or if they were family NPs but I do know they both had extensive peds experience. It was a great job and I was sorry when it ended, (RNs were replaced with MAs). The problem that I saw however, was that the MDs were quick to give out the ritalin/metadate and strattera for almost every kid they saw. I believe that medication has a place in treatment but I also think that behavioral therapy and education would go just as far. The MDs used to just adjust the meds and never adress why the kid was acting out, and what the parent could do about it. Parents had no tools to deal with the strange and/or frustrating behavior their kids were exhibiting. Some of the parents had success with in home behavioral therapists that would show them how to deal with the behaviors but these referals were few and far between and the wait list was a mile long. I would have liked to see more of this and I just thought it was a shame that it wasn't more readily available to families. Good luck with your family and your goals.
    Last edit by meluhn on Sep 5, '09 : Reason: error
  6. by   mamain
    I realize this post is over a year old. I just wanted to add that I too am looking at PNP possibly to work with Autism. I also wanted to second the opinion on the vaccination issue, that many people are very uneducated as to the discussion of alternative vaccination schedules.
    In personal experience, my oldest son has Autism, classic, moderate to severe with aggressive behavioral problems requiring medicinal management. So when my youngest son was born, I had read many different theories regarding the autism spectrum and had decided on following an alternative vaccination schedule. I obtained affidavits from the state in which I live, exempting my children from being required for vaccination and came to an agreement with my son's pediatrician regarding this schedule. We were able to space out his vaccinations fairly effectively for about two years. However, at my son's last visit the nurse practitioner, whom we do not usually see, forced my husband to consent to 5 vaccinations to include MMR at one time. When he explained about the affidavit and previous agreement with the head pediatrician she said that it was her call, because it was her license and that if my husband were to leave the office without having all 5 vaccinations, she would report him for child neglect. Long story short, my husband, with out being able to talk to me first, folded under the pressure of be threaten and my beautiful son was vaccinated. Hopefully, nothing will become of it and hopefully my worst nightmare will not come true. It is issues like this that make we want to work in this field. To hopefully raise awareness to these types of issues. And for anyone else reading, please, even if you do not believe vaccinations have anything at all to do with Autism, respect the wishes of the family. Be culturally sensitive.
  7. by   Helping in Virginia
    I am not sure if anyone is still looking at this thread as I noticed it is from 2009. I am an RN and have been for seven years. I am also seven months from graduation as an Family nurse practitioner. While I was in graduate school my son was Jd as high functioning asd. I am just now starting to look into the DAN protocol and am interested in offering these services when I am done. My experience is that getting the diagnosis of autism is the only time as a patient there is no plan of care. We have had doctors offer major psych drugs for treatment. This is not a route I wish to take. I would be very interested in finding out where to find the best autism treatment information as very little was covered in school. I also wish you all luck with your children.
  8. by   jnette
    Hi here from VA as well !

    At t
    work right now but will be happy to discuss things with you this evening after work and/or over the weekend
  9. by   palemoon
    Hey there--I'm one of those adult autistics that the medical literature seems to consider mythical creatures!

    As an adult, the most important thing for me was to have a community of fellow autistics and advocate for myself. Autism Speaks and other charities like it are okay, but they are mainly composed of health professionals and parents. No autistic people actually sit on their board and they are not welcome to submit ideas. This would be fine if it were a medical board of some kind, but these are advocacy groups, affecting the public view of autism as a whole.

    The autistic community that I belong to consider it to be a disability like deafness, in that we don't consider ourselves to be "sick" and in need of "correcting," or "curing," instead we need help to live in our communities fully and communicate with neurotypical people (people without autism). We are not a homogenous group; we all have different needs.

    I am passionate about bridging the communication gap between NTs and those with autism, that we are full people. I want to end parents murdering their autistic children and labeling them "high-functioning" and "low-functioning." I mean, what does that even mean, really? It's hard to really pin down what they're trying to describe there.

    Sorry, I'm just super passionate about all this .
    Last edit by palemoon on Sep 2, '11 : Reason: Typos
  10. by   jnette
    Quote from Helping in Virginia
    I am not sure if anyone is still looking at this thread as I noticed it is from 2009. I am an RN and have been for seven years. I am also seven months from graduation as an Family nurse practitioner. While I was in graduate school my son was Jd as high functioning asd. I am just now starting to look into the DAN protocol and am interested in offering these services when I am done. My experience is that getting the diagnosis of autism is the only time as a patient there is no plan of care. We have had doctors offer major psych drugs for treatment. This is not a route I wish to take. I would be very interested in finding out where to find the best autism treatment information as very little was covered in school. I also wish you all luck with your children.
    OK.. promised to get with you today, but got home from work yesterday and we had a small tornado tear through our area and lost power at 5 pm yesterday and only now just came back on. Crazy weather these days !!!!

    Will have plenty of time to get on this tomorrow, though. Sorry for the delay !
  11. by   jnette
    Well, actually, I'm so thrilled to have power back on, I'm not sleepy now.. haha !
    So I'll touch on this a bit, and we can continue more over the next couple days...

    My first and only grandson was dx'd with HFA (high functioning autism) in Feb. on his third B'day. Needless to say, we were (initially) devastated. Up 'til then, I had heard only the usual "horror stories" and knew only very little about the autism spectrum.. only what I had heard on the news or read in a few articles. We had no idea what to expect.

    To spare you all the lengthy details, and myself from having to retype it all again, I'll include a link to my blog, and you can take your time reading through everything as it all developed.. I haven't written anything more since May/June or so, as it's been a busy summer... hope to begin writing again this fall.

    http://jnettlee.wordpress.com/2011/0...flecting-pool/

    I want to offer you encouragement, however.... since his diagnosis in Feb, Gavin has made HUGE strides !!!! It is AMAZING how far he has come in just a few short months! From being nearly non-verbal and spinning the wheels on his toy cars, no eye contact... etc., etc, etc... he now is laughing, verbally COMMUNICATING (not just echolalia, but making his wants/needs known) in real SENTENCES, is nearly fully potty trained, and has recently begun to not just TOLERATE (which he never even did before) having children around him, but actually is now beginning to interact with them, sharing his toys, and the other day even HELD HANDS with a little friend.... unthinkable and unimaginable only a month or two ago !

    I could go on for hours.. truly... at the changes we have seen this summer. He started special ed preschool in April, then went to Summer Camp for Autism locally for a week (AWESOME!) in July, and just started back in sp. ed preschool last week. His teacher is amazed at the progress he has made and says he is like a totally different child.

    Believe me when I say I know the roller coaster of emotions one experiences when receiving the diagnosis. And yet now, I can also totally relate to Palemoon's post as well.

    My daughter and I have spent innumerable hours online researching everything we could on autism, and have connected with a HUGE autism community... parents of children on the spectrum... every level of the spectrum. There is a wonderful autism Twitter community.. they have been a wealth of information and support. There is an awesome Facebook community as well... I have all kinds of links to just about anything you might want or need. From every position/perspective on this topic. And there are MANY.

    We, too, have chosen to go with the biomedical approach. We unfortunately do not have any DAN doctors anywhere near us, but are utilizing everything we have available to us along those lines.

    Please feel free to pm me at any time of you choose. I'll do my very best to help out in any way possible, or direct you to those I feel can do so. There is so MUCH to learn, and we continue to learn more every day.

    Be encouraged. As Palemoon stated so very well, ..." a disability like deafness, in that we don't consider ourselves to be "sick" and in need of "correcting," or "curing," instead we need help to live in our communities fully and communicate with neurotypical people..."

    I am now able to fully agree.. no longer see it as the unknown monster in the dark.

    One more suggestion for you.. get that sweet child an iPad if at all possible !!! There are sooooooo many WONDERFUL apps out there for autistic kiddos, and they are INVALUABLE teaching tools.
    SO MUCH of Gavin's progress has come from his iPad. I can guide you in choosing the most helpful apps as well.

    OK.. I could go on and on... will wait to hear back from you and go from there.

    I was a wreck when we first knew for sure about Gavin..... and now.... wow ! It has been such an amazing, fascinating, and WONDERFUL journey! :heartbeat

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