Tuesday, April 14, 2015

One Year Later

It has been one year today since Andrew’s diagnosis of autism. One year ago today, Tim and I traveled home with the devastating news. Did it come as a shock? No. To many it did because Andrew’s autism is completely opposite of Trenton’s. However, it was not a shock to me. A mother knows when something is not right.

I think back to where Andrew was one year ago today and it is AMAZING to think about his progress. A year ago he mainly repeated back what we said to him or spoke lines that he had memorized from shows or things that we had said to him. Andrew would take the words right out of my mouth at the same time every day because he knew what I was going to say. He had memorized what I said. However, functional communication was very low a year ago. After one year of hard work, Andrew is talking well! He can communicate amazingly well! He will look at me and ask me a question. He has been blessed with the ability to communicate! It did not come easy to him. He worked hard to get where he is today with his speech. We have spent lots of money to get his communication where it is today.

A year ago Andrew enjoyed lining up his toys. Today, I can’t even remember the last time he did this! Once again, he has worked hard to overcome some receptive behaviors that he had and that was one that is very minimal these days.
Here are a few of my favorite lines that Andrew did one year ago.

 The below picture was the day that I knew in my heart that Andrew had autism. My mom sent me this picture in a text. I was on my way to Effingham with Trenton to therapy. I pulled over to the side of the road and cried. I have always been told that it is okay if kids make lines with cars and trucks if they also are pretending to play with them. But, it is not okay if a child makes a line out of everything. The below picture has trucks, hammer, random toys, a block, etc.

Andrew was such a normal developing child for a very long time. He slowly started to withdraw from us around 20 months old. Andrew went through a terrible period when he was 20 months to 29 months old. He woke up screaming in the night and was inconsolable. He stopped greeting us when we came home. He only wanted Mommy for a majority of this time. He was okay with Daddy and Nana at times but it had to be on his terms. Andrew was starting to fall into the world of autism. Family members that he once loved, he started to withdraw from. He noticed kids but didn’t know how to play with them. He was afraid of bathrooms. He was afraid of certain places. During this period, he really started to get his obsession and preservations. They soon dictated his day. He started to have meltdowns that were very similar to Trenton’s. The type of meltdown that you only see in a child who has a problem, not a neurotypical child.

Thankfully, we got him diagnosed early enough and started therapies. Andrew is where he is today because of his hard work. It has not been easy. He has sacrificed and so has many others. He has had the best of the best working with him. Andrew has a long way to go on his social/adaptive behaviors but we will continue to work on this for many years to come. A lot of things may never come easy to Andrew but he has proven that he is a fighter.

He has brought so much joy to my life. He, along with his brother, have really taught me what is important in life. I can’t thank him enough for that.  Andrew has shown me a complete opposite  type of autism than his brother. I am by no means an expert on autism but when you are raising two boys on opposite ends of the spectrum…you sure do get educated.
I will remain Andrew's strongest advocate for mild autism. I look forward to looking back one year from now and to see the progress that he has made in another year!
Keep up the good fight Andrew. Autism picked the wrong family to mess with:)
Love you Little A!!

My cute little angel sleeping:)

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