Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Destination: Socialization

I am happy to report that Elijah will finally start receiving the speech services that I have waited so long him to get. I met with our family consultant this past Friday, to go over Elijah’s progress since he has joined The Center for Autism’s program in December of last year. So far he is progressing accordingly. He needs more work with his socialization skills, learning how to interact with his peers. Sometimes I feel sad cause my daughter Sophia tries to play with Elijah, but because of his condition he is unable to show a real interest in her. She looks at him with her big eyes and her face lights up with laughter as she watches him act silly. I can’t wait for the day when he is able to interact with her on his own without being coached into it.
In other news Elijah’s favorite reading time book is Llama Llama Mad At Mama and Night Shift Daddy. I have to say I really enjoy reading it myself. He will walk around the house and ask me and husband to read to him several times a day. It’s the cutest thing. Bath times are slowly getting better. This morning during bath time I had to calm him down from crying, once he stopped crying he got to use his Thomas Shaving Kit that my mom gave to him as a Christmas gift. Every day Elijah amazes me with something that he does that I have not seen him do before. I love my little guy so much and can’t believe how fast he is growing.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Making the Pieces Fit

When my son, Elijah, was diagnosed with Autism, I felt a sense of sadness as well as relief. Relief because I thought to myself… finally, I know what is going on with my kid. But, I also felt a huge sense of sadness come over me because he's my baby and no mother would want this for their child.

During the first year of life, my Elijah hit all his milestones when he was supposed to… rolled over at 4 months, sat up by himself at 6 months, crawled by 7 months, and walked by his 1st birthday. I felt as if his first year of life was some sort of false advertisement for the problems that lay ahead.

I first started realizing that something was not right by the time my Elijah was around 18 months old. He hadn’t started to form words yet and he had some severe behavioral problems. He began receiving early intervention services through Child Link, which ended when he turned 3 years old.

He was evaluated at age 3 by Elwyn but, for some reason, it was determined that he no longer needed services. At first I was shocked… but I was also elated at the same time, if that makes any sense. I was shocked because my Elijah was barely speaking the English language when he tried to put two or more words together in a sentence… but I was also happy because maybe that meant they felt he was "normal" now.

As the months past, I started thinking what a grave mistake they made in their determination. Elijah was trying so hard to communicate but I was barely able to understand what he was saying. I also started to see signs that a much deeper problem was rooted within him.

Elijah's emotional growth also took a turn for the worst. He began crying over things that he would never cry about a year ago (i.e. bath time). Elijah used to like to sit and play with his toys in the bathtub. Slowly he started resisting baths, crying, and screaming sometimes during the whole ordeal, which became very frustrating for me. I would sometimes find myself screaming at him to stop crying, as my patience began to wear thin. Afterwards, I would feel bad as well as perplexed because I didn’t know what was going on with my child. When I started noticing more peculiar behaviors coming from him, it occurred to me that these maybe signs of autism.

I setup an appointment to have him evaluated by the Center for Autism. After a few weeks of waiting, is was determined that Elijah did in fact have Autism disorder. He was enrolled in their Pre-K program and started attending the center this past Monday. A school bus takes him to and from the center and he will attend classes there all year round, five days a week. I will be posting updates on his progress as well as helpful tips and information on Autism- related subjects.