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I remember when I first was pregnant with Adam. It was several months after my miscarriage and I remember feeling so blessed to have a second chance to carry a baby. I prayed and told God that when this baby was born I would dedicate him to Him. I still pray every day that my son will accept Christ at a young age and will someday serve the Lord and do great things for Him. Nothing has changed in that aspect. My son, Adam is still God’s and God has a plan for him no matter what.
I also remember being worried and scared about the thought of our son having Down Syndrome or later getting Autism. I knew that no matter what I would still love him, but like any mother, I wanted my son to be healthy and live a full life. It was something I thought about often during my pregnancy.
Over the months since Adam has been born it seems that he has had increasingly more and more problems. It started out small at birth and as he has gotten older we have seen how he is a little different than other children in several aspects.
Adam receives therapy in 3 areas right now:
1. Feeding Therapy
Adam has an aversion to food. He cannot and will not eat certain textures and tastes. Every day is a struggle to try to get him to eat, whether it be just a few crackers or trying something new. At times I want to give up, it’s hard fighting with him every day, and it’s hard watching your child either eat nothing or not enough. (You can read more about Adam’s problems and therapy here: “My Little Boy is in Therapy.”)
2. Occupational Therapy
Adam has problems with sensory and feeling. He does not like certain textures such as grass, sand, and the feeling of tennis balls. He also is behind in several areas, and with this therapy they help him learn smaller movements such as putting together puzzles, stacking blocks, and putting things together.
3. Speech Therapy
This is our latest venture as he has just started. Adam can only say “mama” and “dada” and I have watched while all my friends enjoy their child’s first words and sounds and have been sad to hear the silence from Adam. It’s only been over the past several weeks that he has really started to babble.
We found out in his evaluation last week, that Adam is about 10 months behind as far as speech and comprehension. Comprehension meaning that he does not fully understand certain things. If I ask Adam to go pick up his cup, he just looks at me. If I say, “Adam wave bye bye!” he doesn’t understand. His comprehension is that of a 10 month old. When I heard this I was shocked and discouraged. I know that therapy will help him catch up, but I was overwhelmed.
Because of all these things, and because of some other things he is behind on according to the paperwork I filled out at his 18 month well-checkup, the doctor has referred us to a developmental pediatrician so that Adam can get tested for Autism. I found this out two weeks ago and since then I feel like my life has been turned upside down. I’ve been overwhelmed with all my thoughts, and even more overwhelmed with all his therapy visits as I am realizing this is becoming more serious.
And thus the deliberation began. Should I wait until my husband gets home? Should I take him to get tested now? The place is 3 hours away. I don’t want to go by myself. My husband should be there. We should be there together. But yet I can’t help but feel that we should do this now because if Adam does need help, then we should get this started as soon as possible. I prayed, and I talked to my husband a little about it best I could. We decided to go ahead and do this as soon as we could get an appointment.
According to the doctor this is just a precaution. It’s better to catch this now then several years down the road. Adam may be fine as far as the Autism, or he might be on the lower end of the scale.
Now I know that everyone has an opinion. I have gotten feedback from others telling me he is too young to be tested, or that he is fine, and from others telling me to do it now and don’t wait. But it all comes to how well I know my child. I see him every day and I know what he does and doesn’t do. I trust his pediatrician and I know they would not have us do this if it wasn’t important to do so.
And so the past few weeks have been crazy. I am overwhelmed with everything I have been given in all 3 of his therapy visits once a week. I have lists of stuff to work with him on, stuff that I should be doing, paperwork to read. It’s just too much for me. I am having a hard time dealing with all of it by myself.
On top of it all the Skype chats with my husband have not been enough and neither have the emails. Skype has decided not to work for more than 30 seconds at a time for the past several weeks, and email is just not cutting it. We don’t get phone calls either. How to you explain all of these things over email? How do you explain what is going on and what we are going to do, and at the same time assure that everything is going to be ok?
And in the back of my mind I can’t help but wonder if this is something I did? Did I do something during my pregnancy that caused him not to develop right? Have I not worked with him or introduced him to new foods, sights, and experiences enough? What if, what if, what if…
My son is such a happy boy. He makes me smile and laugh every day and I love seeing the world through his eyes because everything is new and exciting. I love him and that will never change. We will get through this. One day at a time.