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  • Mary Bailey

Defying Diagnosis & Exceeding Expectations

Chase was initially diagnosed with Autism when he was almost 3 years old. Through more extensive testing later on, it was discovered that, his autistic like tendencies were caused by a mild form of PVL (Periventricular Leukomalacia), a brain injury most likely caused in Chase's case, by the severe hypertension I experienced during pregnancy. With the diagnosis of PVL also came a diagnosis of Dyspraxia. Some of Chase's symptoms were: lack of eye contact, delayed and limited speech and language, lack of socialization skills, visual stemming, weak fine motor skills, limited eating habits, poor short term memory, tightness and spasticity in the legs, and ADD and OCD tendencies.

When Chase reached the 2nd grade, the workload increased and the subjects became less visual and more abstract, which was a big problem, considering Chase's diagnosis. As a result, school quickly became a severe source of anxiety and stress for him, and Chase's symptoms intensified to the point that he was regressing.

Working more closely with Chase's doctors and therapists to understand how his diagnosis affects how he processes information and learns, helped myself and his teachers implement new learning tools, methods, and circumstances, which removed the anxiety and stress from Chase's school experiences, allowing him to continue to engage, grow, and develop.

Despite these diagnosis, symptoms, and outward appearances, I could see that there was so much more to Chase on the inside, and if I was ever going to see those gifts and talents come out, then I wasn't going to deny the diagnosis or symptoms; but rather resolve myself to the fact that Chase was, just put simply, unique. I had to embrace and appreciate who he was as an individual and not view him or his circumstances as a diagnosis or symptom.

Over the years, myself and those around him, have looked on with pleasure, pride, and amazement as Chase has continued to defy diagnosis and exceed expectations.

I feel it is important for you to know a little about Chase's background, but I must emphasize that this site is not about diagnosis or special needs. What I've learned through my experiences with my son is that we ALL have special needs; some of us just have special needs that are amplified. But at the end of the day, we all need to engage in life.

Everyone needs to Get Up and Go, Make It Happen, Check It Out, and Do Something Good!

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