My 15 year old son. My oldest has Aspergers, and a list of other challenges. Such as life threatening food allergies, severe asthma, tibal torsion, severs disease, wolf white Parkinson’s, deficits in attention, language processing, pragmatic language skills, socialization, retrieval of learned information, fine motor skills, visual-motor integration, auditory processing delay, and sensory issues. I’m sure ive missed a few. But you get the idea. This child has many challenges.
He doesn’t learn like others of his age. But let me tell you this is one smart kid! While others are out ripping the sidewalk with their skateboards, my kiddo is reading reference books, or watching historical movies, or the discovery channel. He didn’t have the best of starts.
He was born positive for Group B Beta Strep, the deadly infant killer. He was very ill. He had a high fever, was stiff, coloring was bad, he had breathing problems, and he couldn’t regulate his temperature. He ended up in the NICU for an extended stay. I was told the day I had my first child that he wouldn’t survive the night. I was heart-broken. We had so many dreams for this child. I felt he was a blessing from God from the moment I knew I was pregnant. See I always knew this child would be special. I just didn’t understand how yet.
Our baby wasnt allowed to leave the NICU. So we went there to visit him when they would let us. His days were consumed by tests, feeding tubes, being in an oxygen machine, nurses stretching their hands through openings to check him. He wasnt held unless we were there. Still get’s me teary eyed. But our baby boy was a survivor! A fighter! We knew he was going to make it.
Because of his time at the NICU it took us weeks to get him on a schedule lol. This baby thought we’d stay up all night and play with him. He also had a broken clavicle that we didn’t know about till his 2 week check up with the pediatrician. That explained much of his crying. He loved to be held and cuddled. The closer the better.
When he turned 2 we figured out he wasnt the average 2 year old. His vocab was huge compared to children of his age. But he had just learned how to walk at 18 months, he never crawled, he drug himself. Doctors said he was fine. So in the fall he went off to a 2 hour pre school. Well that was a learning experience for us as well. Those teachers complained about our boy non stop. He doesn’t pay attention, he doesn’t listen, he fidgets, he doesn’t play with others, he doesn’t make eye contact, and he wont quit talking about airplanes. Well that warranted a visit to the doctor. Doctor again said he’s fine.
When he turned 5 we put him into kindergarten. He had a hard year. Always in trouble for “not paying attention” AKA not looking one in the eyes. By first grade we knew we had a problem. They held our boy back. The school tested him and said he was learning disabled. And they wanted to put him in the state-run class with the severely handi capped children. That answer I didn’t like. We went and had him tested. The testing process was long and tiring for us and him. Took 4 months, she saw him 2 times a day for 4 hrs a visit. She also watched him from a far on play dates and what not.
Well when the answer came in, we were relieved to have a name for what had caused our boy so much trouble. It was Autism spectrum Aspergers. At that moment in time I knew why the autism symbol was a puzzle piece. The puzzle had come together. It all made sense. Our boy was going to be ok. We just need to get him some help/therapy.
And with that we started 2 times a week at 2 hours a time for 5 years. All out-of-pocket. None of it, testing included was covered by our insurance. We made many sacrifices at that time to get our child what he needed. And I wouldn’t change a thing!
This child is now 15 years old. A’s and B’s one C. 3.49gpa. In honors classes, has friends, plays with others, can pay attention even though he is not looking at you! And is close to being an Eagle Scout. This child is awesome. He has worked with is challenges, we’ve tought him how to overcome them. No meds for anxiety. We do not agree with medicating him even though we were told to when he was 7. He is just fine. A valued part of society. Produced 25 hours of community service last year because he WANTED to. He’s a good leader, wonderful role model and older brother, and has grown into a wonderful young man. We are truly blessed to have him.
Sorry this post was so long. I just had so much to say.. Thanks for reading it all the way through.