Taken from my Wonderful Things post: Loves being with his dad finally! That’s a story for another post. Here is that story:
We had had a child almost three years earlier a daughter we named Jade Noelle. She was a spectacularly normal child. I expected for Adrian to have the same ease as his sister had had. I swear now that by two weeks old (probably sooner) Adrian knew there was a difference between his dad and I. Something made our sweet baby son howl every time his dad came near. Of course for me this meant I was on feeding duty, diaper duty and general Adrian duty 24/7 because he could not withstand Steve (my husband) near him. At first I was exhausted by this. Then I started to wonder what in the world was wrong. Was I Babying my son so much so that he could not connect to his dad? Nonsense I would say he’s a baby he needs Babying, attention from his mother is all he can accept for now, it won’t always be like this.
This went on while my son at six months could not focus directly into someone’s eyes. The sound of his dads voice seemed to make him cringe every time. I waited for the off chance that maybe Steve could pick him up without him screaming bloody murder. Other people picked him up of course and he seemed indifferent to them all. Every once in a while he would smile directly at someone. Normally he would be smiling at nothing and no one. I would just look over and catch him in a smile when no one was around. He was delayed by six months he was not scooting or even attempting to scoot. He could not sit unsupported until he was around 12 months, and did not walk till 2 years of age.
Language was not in him either. He would scream and break things because of his frustration. I had a little monster on my hands with no knowing of why he was the way he was. When Adrian had just turned one we moved to the home we currently live in. He had problems adjusting and sleeping while Jade seemed perfectly fine. Of course this was her second move, Adrian’s first I told myself and Jade is older as well.
It was when one of my sisters kept bringing up Autism in response to Adrian’s hand flapping and toe walking that I looked into Autism. That was after Adrian had turned two. Adrian seemed to fit the bill. Everything I saw on that list embodied Adrian with the exception of smiling. Denial started maybe it’s this or that but certainly not Autism.
The following year Adrian started a PPI program through our school system. He was 3 and 1/2 by then. This is when he finally started that magical connection with his dad. He picked up language skills a start at least and seemed much happier to me. I asked about Autism at school and he was too young for such a diagnosis I guess. I now know from hearing from others and my own experience that 5 is the magic number at which your child can be diagnosed in our public school system.
More to the point of this post 🙂 At age 4 Adrian finally allowed Steve to join him. He no longer screamed at Steve’s voice or shrinked away from his touch. He was no longer shy with his dad. He started asking for simple wrestling moves to be done and for his dad to hug him even if for 3 seconds the maximum any one could hug him. He wanted to know answers about boys and this only progressed!! He got lost in his dad further and further. As time went on and at six he started showing signs of wanting to play and interact it was dad that got that part! Dad got the setting up of a dual cars track Adrian had received as some present, dad raced the cars down the track with Adrian. Dad was the one who finally got Adrian to play with him Thomas and friends normally. He has always been line obsessed so every character would be lined up side by side. I now know this as a characteristic of Autism. Dad was the center of Adrian’s world. Finally I had someone who could participate and feel Adrian’s love. Of course I was not without jealousy that dad got to be the one who broke Adrian out of his shell when I had spent hours trying, dad was the one Adrian spent those first few months playing with how could I not! I was so taken aback by this little boy who for so long was glued to me finally glueing to his dad I think I cried for a solid week a mixture of jealous and joyful tears. I was beyond happy that my son had finally made that connection he and my husband both desperately needed.
Now it is when I grow up to be a dad like you dad _ insert whatever dad has done recently. Yesterday Adrian said when I grow up to be a dad like you what will I drink? Then he answered his own question as he always does beer dad that’s correct dad, to which mommy replied Adrian you may not be able to drink beer when you grow up remember kidney disease. May not have anything to do with beer drinking I know, but this small sweet child needs to stay my baby as long as possible 🙂
No beer drinking ever if I had my way!!
They have grown into such a different place from where they started. It’s hard sometimes to remember that it was not always so. The pain on Steve’s face, the unknown rejection Adrian must have also felt. My husband often brings up the fact that he and Adrian are only recently close when he talks about Autism and it’s place in our lives. For the longest time what felt like forever that was the major place Autism took in our lives. Not anymore thankfully 🙂 Autism touches many places it always has, we just did not know how. Now we do! It is the place in our lives where our child has the need to read the same book night after night we were going on four months with The Cat in The Hat Comes Back until two weeks ago when Adrian misplaced it. Yesterday his sister found it underneath his bed. I was back to reading it instantly. Autism touches us in every struggle Adrian has. Learning to toilet train, hand writing, showering without freaking out, playing with his sister, going outside, being in the rain, loud noises, and a lot of other things that would seem small to others, but we know as Huge!!
In the end the biggest part of what we struggled with for four year, but what seems like a century has all but faded away. Adrian has found his dad and that is reason to hope for all other things that arise. It may take awhile but Adrian will get there and we will be cheering the whole way through even if we feel like breaking or have any of the other many feelings any parent has or will have had. The difference for us as it is also for many who parent a child with Autism is ours comes with a lot of patient, slowly creeping until it finally sneaks up on you and your child just gets it!!
As i said 5 is the magic diagnosis number here. Adrian at 6 was Diagnosed with PDD-NOS by our private psychologist and with ASD by his school.
Hope springs eternal!!!
Signs of Autism from three sources: