I wanted to write about the last post. The one with the pictures? Yeah. I tend not to have many picture posts. I don’t know why – mostly because I don’t get my camera out nearly enough or, sadly, when I do, my camera isn’t charged and I can’t find the charging cable. (I love my life.)
Anyway. My little guy, his name is Jayan. He is just under four and rarely (if ever) smiles for pictures. Or looks at the camera. So those pictures below? Special to this mama.
I had mentioned to our doctor prior to his turning three that I had concerns with potential for Asperger’s Syndrome. There were just things that I found to be out of line with my little boy.
- He will rarely respond to his name. Or he will, but only after he knows you’re upset. And the you in-question tends to be me and me alone. People try to talk to him and he flat out ignores them. I make an excuse or they say that he’s shy, but I’m not so sure.
- He is extremely stubborn. He listens, but chooses to do whatever he wants to do most of the time. This includes shoe wearing, haircuts, baths, bedtimes. He is extremely stubborn and strong-willed.
- Low language use. Which saddens me, because he started talking so early (six months) – by a year, he was saying the different names of the animals and their sounds and repeating back passages from his favorite books. By two, it was regurgitating his favorite tv shows, but not much outside of that. Even now, we struggle with basic words, like milk or phrases like “I love you.”
- Lack of eye contact. Although I will say this is improving, it is still a struggle. I try to maintain eye contact with him as much as possible.
We don’t have a formal diagnosis from our pediatrician, yet, but I sense that it will only be a matter of time. I am hopeful that maybe in the next few months we will see some shift in him. My niece, who I had also suspected had some Asperger’s traits, is suddenly, shortly after turning four, talking up a storm and a total ham to be around, so you never know.
I don’t want to seem like I wouldn’t be accepting of my son either way, because of course I would. But there are things that creep into my head, like, “What will school be like?” and “What about when he’s older?” I think it’s more the unknowns, than anything.
Our pediatrican, when we saw him last, said that I handled the potential diagnosis of Asperger’s well. That some parents have a very different reaction and are (I think, in a way, understandably) upset. Some of this, I think, is a bit of denial. A thought that “maybe it’s just us” or “he’ll snap out of it” or there will be a magic cure or some pill to take.
I think that all of us have dreams for our children. Even if we aren’t fully aware of what those dreams are, at the time. And when your child is different than that, whether autistic, or otherwise, I think the parent grieves the loss of the child they thought they would have. I think that all parents do this at some point as their child becomes who they will end up being – sometimes that isn’t completely in-line with the parents vision. (We don’t call it growing pains for nothing, right?)
My husband and I talk about it late at night. The difference between our son and his peers. What it will mean for our son as he gets older. We haven’t had the formal diagnosis, but being that we have the four-year Well Child visit coming up, I have thought about it more often. About whether he’ll need special ed classes and whether we should start therapy before going to kindergarten. We are fairly laid back as people, but I am a mama bear when it comes to my little boy – whatever he needs, we’ll make sure that he has it. I just, more than anything, want to make sure that he is not hurt.
For now, he loves Curious George. And digging holes and playing with water. He loves apples and oranges and cantaloupe. And coloring on the furniture. And practicing his letters. When he’s outside, he’s completely and totally in his element. And when he’s on the water? He’s on top of the world.
That’s who he is. And that’s just fine with me.