We, along with some close family members who are around us a lot, truly believe our nightmare is getting worse. I know I posted last week some of Andrew's issues. Tonight, I want to talk a little more about Andrew. Besides his fixated obsessions and believe me Cars and stickers are the only thing on his mind these days, and the fact that he doesn't greet his parents, he has other issues too.
I can't remember the last time Andrew took a bath and enjoyed it. I believe it was sometime around Christmas. For the past 5-6 weeks, if I try to give him a bath, he screams and says "owee". This is exactly what Trenton did between 2 and 3 years of age. Now, Trenton loves his bath and Andrew will not even get in the bath with Trenton. Obviously, this is not learned behavior.
Andrew no longer responds to his name. Majority of the time, we have to say his name ten times before he turns to look at us. He does not have appropriate play with us even when Trenton is not around. He will bring us to a toy to play with him on very few occasions. Even when this happens, he will not look at us and engage with the toy with us. His eyes is on that toy or the object and he could care less about the person next to him. This is a huge indicator that something is wrong. I know this from some autism training classes I have taken. Andrew use to engage with us while playing. This is yet another function that he has lost. Like the boys doctor once told me, anything that a toddler once did and lose is a bad sign. Toddlers, even if they live with a disabled sibling, do not lose milestones once they have achieved it.
Even when Trenton is not around, Andrew will not play with his toys. He gets mad if I try to make him play with his Thomas the Train set. His temper will flare and he starts throwing the trains and the track. He loved playing with his toys only a few months ago. Andrew is changing by the day and it is scary!
In my last post on Andrew, I spoke a little on his speech. His speech is not progressing at all. His speech is exactly where it was 5 months ago. Toddlers speech should progress each month. Andrew can name objects but that's about it. If he has any other speech, it is echolalia (repeated speech) or his learned speech. Please recall my example of him asking and answering himself at TV time on my last post about him.
Since Andrew has turned two, I have tried over and over to get him to answer me when I ask him how old he is. I will say, "How old are you Andrew?" Andrew responds, "Andrew". This is just one small example of his echolalia.
Last night Andrew could not sleep but Trenton did. One way or the other, Mommy gets no sleep. While Andrew was up in the night crying, he was flapping his arms repeatedly over and over. Andrew does this on some occasions. When he wants something, he will very rarely point to what he wants. Instead, he will stand and flap his arms while he is fussing.
Speaking of sleep, Andrew has a routine at night and it can't be interrupted. For example, when Tim is home on the weekends I try to get Andrew to fall asleep with Tim and not me. Most children should and would be okay with either parent, right? Andrew use to be but now Andrew goes into a full blown tantrum if Tim puts him to bed. Last Friday, Andrew screamed for 30 min trying to escape Tim. His screams were the exact same screams I have heard from Trenton numerous times. It was a blood curdling scream. Andrew was beside himself! If someone was outside our house, I am sure it sounded like he was being murdered. Andrew could not handle a different routine. It was his father for pete's sake!!! He should be happy with Daddy but once again....it was different. Mommy is the only person that can put either child to bed now or we are dealing with meltdowns and tantrums that will go on for who knows how long.
Unlike Trenton, I can take Andrew into a store. However, the whole time he is in the store he says, "cars" over and over. It's almost as if that is a stim and calming him down.
Andrew is the messiest eater I have ever seen. This too can be a very common trait among children on the spectrum. I have to feed Andrew, he can't use a fork or spoon very well at all. He used a fork and spoon fairly well a year ago but this appears to be getting worse.
The other day I looked back on 2013 and some of my post. It was simply disheartening to what I read on Andrew. A year ago I posted on how great it felt to be greeted by him when I came home, every morning he woke up saying "mommy", and he woke up from his naps saying "Mommy". None of this has happened the last few months. Instead, he doesn't look up at Tim and I when we come home and he wakes up saying "cars". Trenton has never been in his room when he wakes up so this is not learned behavior. Majority of the time, Trenton is not around when we walk in the house. Whether Trenton is around or not, if Andrew was 100% neuro typical he would greet us and not have lost some of his milestones.
I'm not sure how much more Tim, I, and some of our family members can take.
Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.