Friday, February 22, 2013

No accidents.

I wanted to post a little follow up to Let's talk about Jack. If you haven't read it you may want to read it first.  After writing and sharing that post with everyone from family members to strangers with children on the spectrum I received a ton of feedback and contact information. Most of which I'm still following up on. The feedback made me feel good, like I wasn't alone, and I got some reassurance that what I was seeing wasn't necessarily something I should ignore. I've thanked them for that. I did also still get some of the same old feedback of..."He's fine. He's normal. He does so well in school."  All of which is true to a point. In my opinion..."he's awesome!  (although with the budding anxiety, not always fine). And as far as normal goes, he's better than normal. I still have some people to reach out to that may have some better insight, but in the meantime I'm narrowing down a doctor for him so we can start with addressing the anxiety. And go from there.

Today I finally had a few minutes to dive into my Black Box (external drive) and view some old videos of my guy when he was two. I knew I had them and vividly remember him during that time...lining up his tub toys...speaking in a sing song script...and being very repetitive. I watched a lot of them today, with Jack, and we could hardly stop laughing. All of the above was there as I had remembered but at the same time his little mannerisms completely cracked us up. It was fun to do together and he kept periodically hugging me as we watched his former tiny self carry on conversations that so clearly originated from Barney and Dora.

What I hadn't expected to find was an old Blog entry saved away in a word document. Ironically it was written right after I had seen Jenny McCarthy on Oprah. It was a similar eye opening experience as what recently occurred with Let's talk about Jack. For me anyway, and apparently according to the entry is was not my first search for information but my second, making this recent quest my third. What is it they aways say?   Third times a charm?  I don't think it's an accident that I found that entry today, and I don't think it's an accident that I keep being lead down this road.

Here is the Old Post...written when Jack (who is now eight) was three years old.

In addition to spending my week sick as dog with what can only be described as a KICK. MY. ASS. cold....I also spent most of it in front of my computer perusing website after website in a quest for information. A quest I began a year ago but abandoned when I convinced myself not to trust my intuition.  I got a wake up call last week, and suddenly everything became so clear.

Being that I work from home, I usually have the TV on in the afternoon. I don't always watch it but I keep it on...maybe to remind me that there are other people in the world. Anyway, some of you may know Jenny McCarthy was on Oprah last week (and has since been on every other show and magazine cover in America) promoting her new book which talks about her son having autism. I really wasn't planning on watching, but her story intrigued me, and I found my myself sitting there hanging on her every word. Her story was amazing and scary and inspirational all at the same time. Then Oprah went and did what she always does. She asked the "question". Where there any signs early on that you missed? ...and then came the clarity as Jenny went on to describe my son.

 I think I sat there for about 15 minutes with my mouth hanging open and I'm not even sure why. It's not as if the thought hadn't crossed my mind. I'd even voiced it to a few people, but somehow I'd managed to dismiss the idea, for the most part.  After all, when you hear the word autistic your first visual is what? Rainman. Correct. Your second is of an expressionless child sitting off by themselves starring into space, right? A child who doesn't want to be hugged or kissed or even touched.  A child who can't communicate. Well... that's not my he can't be autistic. Or...can he?

Jenny talked about "Mommy Intuition".  You know. You just know. I can't say with certainty that he is, as he hasn't been diagnosed. I can say that my son is not like the other kids his age.  He is different. But not a bad different. In fact just about everyone who meets him falls in love with him. If, in fact, he does have some type of autism spectrum disorder, my guess would be Aspergers, which incidentally, would also fit his father (and in some ways myself) to a T. Again, not a doctor, but time will tell. It could be some kind of sensory processing disorder or just plain quirkiness. In any case, at this point, he doesn't appear to be hindered in anyway. In fact it's just the opposite.

What people say when they meet my son:

"OMG, how adorable, he's like a little Professor!"
"He's so polite!"
"He's only three? He seems so much older!"
"He's so friendly and personable."
"I can't believe he remembered my name, he's only met me once."
"He certainly isn't shy, is he?"
"What a charmer!"

And not one of those comments would appear to be about a child on the spectrum.

Now meet Jack:

He says hi to every adult we meet. He will also ask their name and remember it if he happens to see them again three months from now.

He has an adorable sing song voice and uses words like gargantuate.

He has a deep interest in trains, vacuums, ceiling fans, sprinkler systems and telephone poles.

He only eats about 12 different foods. He's extremely sensitive to texture and smell. Will vomit if he tries something new.  Most times he needs to be reminded to eat roughly 50 times per meal.

He likes TV and will recite lines from TV shows or television commercials daily.

He appears to love new things and change, but will link a specific phrase to a place or item...when he goes to that place or sees that item he will recite that phrase. Each and every time.

When I ask him if he wants to go to the playground, he says "Oh yes! I'd love to." and flaps his hands. Whenever he is excited or overstimulated he flaps his hands. When we get to the playground he wanders around exploring on his own, picking up sticks or rocks. 

He loves to dance. He also spins and toe walks (again, when excited or overstimulated)

He's learning the alphabet in sign language (still not sure from where) but still has a hard time using a spoon or fork or catching a ball.

He learned what a W was at 18 months and has started spelling his head only, because he can't yet write.

He's developing quite an imagination but will talk endlessly and repetetively about trains and traintracks.

He's loving and affectionate, but only for as long as he can stand still or take it. During his waking hours he's almost always in constant motion.

He knows which roads take us where. He remembers every place we go to, even if it's only once.
He's always liked to have something in his hand, usually a drumstick (used to be the blue lego). He also takes the drumstick to bed and in the car for rides. :)

He loves to play outside but falls more than your average 3 year old.

I'm constantly saying "How do you know that?"...and he's constantly finishing my sentences. 


That's were it ended. I don't think I had finished it, but if I find the rest I will revise the post. In any case, it was interesting that I would still have this and happen to find it now. It helped to bring back even more memories, and it also helped to remind me that whatever the outcome Jack is and will be OKAY. Better than okay. 

Hope, who kind of believes in Serendipity, and is wondering what's next?

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