There is nothing worse than feeling frustrated with situations that fall completely out of your grasp. Recently I found out my baby boy is autistic. We had to meet a bunch of specialists and fill out these questions about him. I’ve been in the preschool teaching game for over a decade and seven of those years with kids three and under. I know the signs as a teacher. You notice things a child does differently than the others. And I did notice with him. But boys do things at a different speed then girls. So I wasn’t worried. Not really. Well, maybe a little. A lot of the signs of children on the spectrum can also be seen as typical behaviors. Like categorizing toys by size and color. Repeating certain words and not being clear with them. I knew what bothered my son and what didn’t. It would be fine going forward right? Then I started reading pamphlets and websites and began to worry more. It’s like when you have a small ache that hasn’t gone away for a while and you go on Dr. Google and see what it could be. Suddenly after ten minutes of research, you find out you’re dying of some rare disease that only .5% of people ever got in the history of Earth. These sites began talking about the signs and then I am reading about if he needs adult care and how to live with your autistic child forever. I imagined him at fifty and us barely moving thanks to our barely functioning bodies. How could I care for my grown son when my own shit was a struggle to live with? What happens when I’m sick and he needs me? I am already crawling half the day from my endo.
I am in full panic mode after reading this stuff. We don’t know yet what level (if that’s how they measure) he is. I don’t know if he will do well in school all day. I sit with him now, his pale cheeks spotted with bits of dried muffin and he is happy. He is watching videos about dinosaurs and he is naming them all along with colors and shapes, numbers and animals. He loves other kids and he hugs us and yells out “family hugs!” He jumps with excitement when he sees his older sister and they play legos together. I see him as just GG, my middle baby and happy boy. What if some asshole kid with his yellow-toothed punk friends picks on him? What if he hates himself because he is “different”? What if some shitty teacher targets him and flunks him all the time because he learns differently than other kids? My husband and I sometimes dread these scenarios that, of course, have never happened yet. But my mind is on its own, creating this world that may never occur. And I’ve been a parent for a while now and a teacher for a long time. I know this is just how our minds work. All I want to do is protect my kids from anyone who will ever do them harm. I can only wait which sucks 100%. Until then I can watch him enjoy his little life, his love of snuggles and dinosaurs and hope everything will work out.
My son was born a day shy of 38 weeks. I was at work and felt my stomach tighten but no pain. My co worker suggested I go check it out since I was so close to my due date. I called my gyno and she said it was probaly not an issue but I should take a trip to labor and delivery just in case because you never know. To be honest I was glad to; being pregant with a chronic illness is a nightmare though you get a prize of a cute kid at the end. But no amount of snips of snails and puppy dog tails (which is gross by the way) could help me ignore the 9 months of dibilitating migraines and bleeding lesions inside while cooking my baby. Was it worth it? Of course it was. I would serve the Devil himself to have my kids, especially when infertility with endo means many women can’t have children. Having a chronic illness is tough as it is. Then throw growing a human in the mix and it can get rough at times.
In February my son was born. He was perfect in every way. He was checked over by hospital doctors and our pediatrician and given, as my mother says, a clean bill of health. My husband and I were over the moon for our little man. Our daughter wasn’t so thrilled there was a new kid on the block. But now you would never be able to tell. They are the best of buddies. I’m not just saying that either. When she comes home from school (they are four years apart) he screams “Emmie!” and they hug so tightly they fall over. My son loves grabbing us and saying “family hug” and squeezes us with his insanly strong three year old arms. While he avoids his baby sister (for now) he curls up with us for movie nights and because he loves to cuddle. He love animals and dinosaurs and can name what seems to be every animal in the sea. But many of his words sounded garbled and when we call his name many times he ignores us. He loves lining up his cars and separating them into their designated colors. He throws tantrums that could bring a UFC fighter to their knees and it is hard to soothe him. I’ve spend over 12 years as a preschool teacher, 5 of them with three year olds. I could spot things with my students. That was seven years ago but I still knew milestones and behaviors. Eveyrone knows boys fall behind girls in many areas. He was just frustrated because he may had a delay in speech. My mom thought he had a hearing issue which would explain his frustrations with talking and being understood.
“Your son…is on the spectrum.”
My husband and I heared what my doctor said. My mind began to race to every behavior, every struggle my son had. And it all fell into place. Now it made sense. I felt strange. I can’t describe the feeling other than that. He did a lot of repeatative behaviors and I never noticed they were more than just normal little kid habits. I watched my son play with the trucks in the doctors office. I realized they were all yellow and all angled in the same way. Kids his age did that anyway but this, my doctor said, this was different. I called the school system earlier in the month to get him evaluated because we knew his speech was delayed. I guess it was there in my mind, hiding in the back. It doesn’t take anything away from how we feel about him. He is our boy. He’s still and will always be our baby.
Parents of children with disabilities already feel lost sometimes. I can’t always calm his tantrums. My oldest doesn’t always get that her little brother didn’t kick her on purpose while having one of them. But this same child runs to her and yells her name and wraps his arms around her. This is family. This is love. And this is what helps heal the aching of the heart when we are told our child is medically different than the rest. It doesn’t mean it’s bad it just means we have to adapt to him and his world.
People have been supporting us in so many ways for our son’s medical care. Many have contributed to him so this info is for those who asked to help out. For those who have inquired, paypal contributions can go to email@example.com We thank everyone for all support in all forms.