Saturday, December 30, 2006
My husband and I have come to terms with the fact that all three of our boys are Autistic. Rashawn, our four year old, was verified on the 21st of December and we're certain that Rayden, our 3 year old, is also. Rayden had some problems when he was around 7 months old and started having seizures. The disorder he had is called Infantile Spasms, also known as West Syndrome. We were very fortunate that the first treatment we attempted worked wonderfully and he hasn't had a seizure in over two years. Because of the Infantile Spasms we had Rayden receive services from the school district we're in. The program is called Early Intervention and it provides in-home physical, speech, and occupational therapy free of any cost to the family. It also provides a services coordinator who is available to the family for anything they may need help with, from finding an apartment or home to accessing government financial aid. There's a teacher who is also on this team available for consultation if needed. The program is absolutely wonderful.

Because Rayden was in the program already and I started to see some speech delay in Rashawn we had him tested and he began to receive services also. He started preschool to help him develop social and speech skills. At parent teacher conferences his teacher told me she had some concerns that he may be Autistic. I was shocked, but calm. I had worked with Autism every summer from the age of 14 to 19 and was very very familiar with it. I only stopped because I had babies :) I listened to the teacher's concerns and it all began to make complete sense. I finally had a reason why my child was so much harder to keep up with than all the other children I knew. It explained the constant getting into things he knew he shouldn't. I can't tell you how many eggs I've had to shampoo out of my carpet. It's funny now, but when it happens, it can almost break you, because you're already exhausted.

So after I had time to contemplate all this a bit and watch Rashawn with this in mind, I realized it was true and almost beat myself up for having worked with Autism so closely and not recognized it in my own child. In watching Rashawn, I began looking at Rayden too. It didn't take long to figure out he was. He starts his testing in Jan when he starts preschool also. It's a 60 day test period so we should be able to verify him by the end of February.

And now the third kiddo. Rion, our 16 month old. Up until now he's seemed right on target for development, but I have been worried about his speech because he hasn't said a single word yet. Yes, I know he's still young but even Rashawn and Rayden had said at least one word by now. The other night Mike, my husband, and I were talking and he said he'd pretty much come to terms with the fact that all three of our kids had Autism. This may seem pessimistic and rash but we've both realized that we have some pretty profound Autistic tendencies that perhaps were not recognized because we were high functionaing enough that it didn't affect our school work or social lives severely. It can be hereditary so it adds to the risk for the kids. I was still clinging to the hope that Rion was going to be the exception though. This morning changed my mind.
Rion kept climbing on top of a chair and every time he'd end up falling off and getting hurt. Then he would just get up and do it again. (One sign of Autism is a tendency to do things without regard for their own safety.) Then when my husband started to get stern with him he would throw a fit (not too uncommon for an almost two year old) and ended up hitting his head on the bar to the one-point net swing we have. He got up and started climbing on the chair again so my husband got on to him again. He did the same thing, except this time I realized he was hitting his head on the bar on purpose, not by accident.Then it occurred to me that Rion is also always opening and closing his hands and staring at them. Yes it's normal for a baby to do this, but Rion does this constantly, which could be another sign.

So now I'm in the process of accepting all of this. I do not feel defeated, because I know that God has given me this because I have a heart for Autistic children. He gives strength in everything and he will in this. He's blessed me with a wonderful husband who is just awesome about all of this. A lot of men don't handle it quite as well but my husband is already using techniques he's learned when disciplining Rashawn. I'm extremely thankful for this because I've seen personally parents that can't handle it. It's going to be a tough road but there are so many blessings in it. I have the sweetest little boys ever. Everyone just falls in love with them. They're wonderful kids. Not too mention they're beautiful! Yeah, I know, I'm pretty biased but I have others who will testify too it :P




Today I spent some time setting up a picture schedule for the two older boys. I'm kind of excited about it. Here's a picture, it's only half done. I need to pick up some more velcro.

I just put contact paper on our bedroom door and used velcro to attach the pictures and times.Each picture represents a part of their day: playing with blocks, music, tv time, trucks, train set, coloring. Everything is scheduled to help them feel more secure, it does wonders I promise. They're much calmer when their day is ordered and predictable. Who doesn't feel better when they have that!

In the knitting scheme of things, I'm still work on the same old same old. Probably getting a little burned out now. I'm probably going to work on the leg and arm warmers I've been drooling over for a few weeks. At least it'll be a quicker project. A finished project would be nice. Anyway, here's a picture of the Bruce Lee throw. I have up to the knuckles of the lower fist done so far. It's going pretty fast I think.

Check out the bamboos, nice eh? And the cord length is a big upgrade from this. Sorry the picture is so big, I got lazy ;P

And last but definitely not least, I got this super cute purse.

Yes, yes, I know, it's sacrilege because I could totally make this. But it comes down to the fact that I got it for $10 and you just can't beat that. The supplies alone would cost more than that and I have way too many on the needle projects to be messing around with something I could get for just $10!!

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!


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Posted by Elyse at 2:17 PM |


At January 1, 2007 at 12:20:00 PM CST, Anonymous Sara said........
Rayden with food... Hehe, doesn't surprise me. Your boys are still my favorite kids ever... until my niece/nephew is born. Can't wait to knit again on Thursday. Yay!

At January 5, 2007 at 9:58:00 AM CST, Blogger Josee said........
great knits, and heartfelt prayers for your and your family. I'm coming to terms with my own son's autism, he's eight and my husband and I are coming to the realization that he has Asperger's. Again great knits and heartfelt prayers.