One of my first autism mom bogs was "Souls Never Wrinkle." If you give up reading now just to click to her page I will consider this post a success. She's an awesome mom with a true little super hero. They have a wonderful story and I strongly urge you to check them out. Getting to know her is what's inspired me to take a stab at this myself.
So I'm giving it a try.
|This is us, in all of our goofy, fun lovin' glory!|
My little guy's name is Xander. We've called him some variation of "Bean" from day 1 so it seems natural for that to be a nickname I use on here. He's 2 1/2 years old. He's amazing, and I'm not just saying that because I brought him into this world, he really is. He's a smart, clever little spirit who's always getting into trouble, not in a malicious way, just a side effect of his constant need to explore. He loves to jump. We have a trampoline in the corner of our living room because putting it away never seemed to be a real option. If jumping is his favorite activity, cuddling is a close second. He takes advantage of every chance he gets to squeeze himself into my personal space and after a while you get used to watching tv with a toddler behind you on the couch or using the sewing machine with him standing on the seat next to you.
|his first snapshot, needless to say he wasn't happy about it.|
Part of who he is is his diagnosis. I honesty think he'd be a totally different kid without all of his "challenges." I know it sounds cliche but we kind of always knew he was different, but not in the way you would expect. We saw his differences but didn't really see any downside to it. For example, other moms would complain they could never get things done because their babies would spend five minutes in their jumperoos before screaming to get out. Xander would easily spend hours in his and scream bloody murder when we took him out. He was an easy baby, as long as he was wrapped up tightly or in a snug sling.
Even when we discovered his absolute fear/hatred of grass we didn't worry. We just put long pants in the middle of the summer and tried to work through the hyperventilating fits and after months of trying he gradually got more comfortable. This was about the time that he also started checking every surface before walking on it. We just chalked it up to being one, new to the world and unsure of his walking abilities. It got annoying when he would insist on walking but had to stop every two steps because tile colors had changed but we indulged him and that too after a while, went away.
This whole time he never really said much, some sounds and chatter but not really words. His doctors didn't seem concerned so we just took everyone's advice, take boys developed speech slower, and just sat back and enjoy the silence. We always figured one day words would just start blurting out and we'd never be able to shut him up, (which is kind of like what happened but only after starting speech therapy.) By his 18 month appointment, he had 3 words. This time the doctor recommended speech therapy, which then became speech and occupational therapy, when they noticed all of his sensory issues. All along he had be "helping" himself with jumping, rough play and cuddling to meet his deep pressure needs. After months of therapies, they suggested a formal evaluation and that's when he got his diagnosis of PDD-Nos.
UPDATE: (4-17-13) We are currently in the process of a diagnosis change from Nos to Autism, to open up more opportunities with schooling and services.
|Now he loves grass...and mud.|
We are still working with speech to gain more words, he's at 35 label type of words (ei: cow, horsey, piggie, giraffe, colors and shapes etc) but using language as communication is still outside our reach right now. His sensory issues are a constant battle that I'm praying we can get ahead of one of these days. We've added a nutritionist to the group too for my picky eater.
We are so proud of how far he has come, how far we've all come. We are more attentive patience parents. Yea, we still get frustrated to see him struggle but that's something ever parent hates. But without challenges, we can't truly appreciate what we have achieved. We are grateful for this chance to slow down, take every tiny win as a huge victory and learn patience in a whole new way.
Thanks for reading and there will be more to come so stay tuned.