More About Our Family

this is me!

Hi, my name is Devon and I have the distinct pleasure to be a wife and mom. I love crafting, crocheting, photography and graphics design. That is of course when I'm not chasing after a toddler, cleaning the nearly endless messy in his wake and trying to keep a steady supply of food and necessities in our home. I'm a huge geek, from the nerdy glasses I had before they were cool to my insane love of Star Trek circa 1966. And let's not forget my love of Doctor Who, that's now a shared family enjoyment. I'd take a museum trip over a party any day and have watched far too many historical documentaries for one life time. And I'd happily be locked in a room surrounded with my books.

Devon, 16 and Alex, 18
us from back in the day
My Alex, sporting
his homemade bow tie
     My husband, Alex, and I were high school sweethearts and have been together since I was 16. We meet in a christian school back in our hometown region and after forming a great friendship, we became inseparable. After he graduated college down in Florida, (BS in 22 months!) we got married.

     Alex works as a computer technician in Pittsburgh. Video games, scifi shows and surfing the internet are a few of his "hobbies" but hanging out with us, playing with Xander and cooking Amazing meals are probably the things he does best. He is the yin to my yang, pepper to my salt, peanut butter to my jelly. I was lucky enough to marry my best friend and even luckier that my best friend happened to be the best man in my world!

   We were blessed to find out that we were pregnant shortly after our first wedding anniversary. We figured out why I had been so crazy lately just before the start of my father-in-law's wedding, so that day is still a bit of a blur! We were totally thrilled and scared out of our minds, so basically on par with every other first time parent. It was the fastest and yet the slowest 40 weeks of our lives.
our first family photo,
from my in-laws wedding

     In the middle of one of the hottest summers in recent history, at least by New England area standards, I gave birth to Xander "Bean" at 12:30 at night. Weighing in at 6 lbs, 13 oz.

     We knew early on that we were blessed with a truly awesome kid. We was easy going, slept through the night as long as he was wrapped up as tight as possible and would jump in his jumperoo for hours, giving me a chance to clean and cook. He was and still is the happiest person I know. He always has a smile on his face and is very quick to laughter. His bubbly personality is infectious and spreads quickly. He loves rough housing with his daddy or grandpa, whichever is available at the time, and even mommy when a less strong stand-in is necessary. Along side his coolness, we started to notice a few odd things, his extra fear of standing in grass even with pants and shoes on or his "need" to be in his jumperoo for so long, yea it was great to get the use of my hands back but was it safe? Healthy? We told the doctor about it but were told it was normal, just a phase. They didn't even seem concerned when he wasn't talking, hardly babbling.

     When Xander was a year and half old, we relocated to western Pennsylvania. Once we were settled we went about finding a new primary care doctor for him. This is when they finally noticed the speech delay. Almost immediately we started evaluations and test, and after confirming his hearing was fine, we started speech therapy. During Early Intervention evaluations, they suggested having an occupational eval also because they were noticing some sensory issues. This freaked us out at first, speech was something easy to understand but wrapping your mind around your child not "feeling" properly was really hard.

match father and son ties
super hero themed!
     After starting up with those two therapies twice a week, they started suggesting something worth diagnosing might be going on. They wouldn't say the "A" word but we knew what they were thinking. After the fear and worry faded we took to the internet and did our research. After breaking down the stigma in our own minds of what this might mean for our son, we started to accept that from what we were reading Xander fit a lot of it. Shortly after two, Xander was diagnosed with PDD-Nos (Pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified), also referred to as "Atypical Autism." Which has recently been changed to Classic Autism.

jumping like a madman
     Looking back, we can see where he's had sensory issues and autistic traits (defensive eating, texture aversion, deep pressure input, sensitivity to light and sound and at times lack there of, issues with crowds and groups of people in small spaces, extremely high pain tolerance and "spacing out" as a defense mechanism etc.) all along but we just adapted. He's not defined by his diagnosis but I'd be lying if I said it wasn't a big part of who he is. Because it helps him "feel better" sensory wise, he gets his greatest joy from jumping and rough play. He's an amazing cuddler and will run full steam at you if you just open your arms to give a bear hug. Without the need for input, these things might not be part of who he is and he just wouldn't be the same.

working with his tss
     I wouldn't change him for the world but I will bend over backwards to help him in any area he has delays. We have seen therapy help him so much in just a year, that I'm eager to see the young man that he will become with continued help. Last year, he hated books and refused to even look at pictures, instead ripping them up and running away. Now he will happily sit and page through and examine each picture, taking in all of the details be never knew he loved until we was able to pacify his senses long enough to sit still.

     We have been blessed with some amazing therapists and while its unlikely they will read this, I'd like to thank them for helping us get to know our son to his full potential. It means the world to us.
Our Family


  1. My 4 year old is autistic and he was exactly how you described your son as a baby. He loved the jumperoo and slept through the night. He was almost too easy as a baby! Just wanted to say hello! I love those DIY awareness shirts on here too cute!

  2. I have autism an was showing signs as a baby like your son .i still have sencorey iusses .but it great they have EI when I was litte there was none my parents were my EI until I stared spl an stuff


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