Little man is about to turn two in July.
I'll start off with recognizing our family has been through a lot of change in his first year. Dad left, and came back, and left and came back, and left (etc) throughout this past year. Yes, it's been almost a year of him coming and going. We had a baby brother during this year as well. I'm not oblivious of the big changes.
During this year we started off with apx twelve words. Momma, Dada, Bella, Dog, Kitty, Cat, go, Dulie (for Julie), Arthur, and uh-oh. I started noticing around 18 months, after Christmas, that he wasn't talking as much. I also started noticing he only played with two toys.. both he could spin on the ground and made noise. I looked into an echo sensory because that's what it seemed like. We started swim back in Feb, again after Dad came and left a second time, and he cried at every lesson. Then he started plugging his ears and refusing to go in the water or be under water - which is very typical for children - IMO. I also started noticing that he wasn't really playing with other kids, not that we are around that many. We were going to a church social where the first 45 min we co played parents and kids - and he didn't seek the children out to play with. He actually had no interest and stayed to himself but I thought it was because he was a non-walker and all the others were. Even after he started walking he didn't gravitate to the kiddo's. I also started noticing and hearing from the day care worker that all he did for the next 45 min was cry. I thought it was because of nap time but also realized he wasn't trying to play with any of the other kids. We stopped going to the group because of that and because the day care worker complained about his constant crying.
Little man became obsessed with Dory & I tried to incorporate water as much as possible. He loved bath time! I decorated his bathroom in Dory characters and for a moment I thought he was saying "fish". We'd watch Dory and his face would light up! Then I sought out aquariums, other fish movies, but he only wanted Dory and didn't seemed interested at all in the aquariums. We have a unspoken schedule and I noticed that if I went off that schedule he didn't seem to mind. I also noticed that he never asked for water, or juice, or food. He never complained about being in a carseat or stroller for a long period of time - which I tested by a 3 hour hair appointment. (to my defense I brought food, the ipad and he was directly in front of me the whole time. So I thought he didn't complain b/c his needs were being met). Although we got a ton of compliments on how well it was - it was odd. Then friends started commenting on how their kids wouldn't have set that still or quiet for that length of time and I felt horrible. Out right horrible. Then I really started paying attention. Dissecting his every move, asking questions to other parents and people I new worked in the field with children.
Dad came home, we had a baby, and he changed even more. Now we have regressed to just saying "go" and "Dadda" but this time he doesn't seem to acknowledge Dad on facetime. He doesn't look up and smile, he doesn't blow bubbles and throw kisses. He just acts like he doesn't know he's on the ipad. Then the ipad became his obsession. He is really, really good at ipad games - some above his age level. Now the TV or movies are just a distraction but he's obsessed with his ipad games and throws major tantrums when I force him off of it. He still doesn't play with toys, he still doesn't talk or acknowledge his needs. He doesn't really seem to even acknowledge "Little Dude".
While the husband was home for his 20 days he also started to notice his quietness. My husband stated that Little Man never asked for food or juice. He never complained of a dirty or wet diaper. He never complained about going to the hospital for the day. He's just a very quiet kid. My sister J came into town and he never questioned her. He never hesitated or clung to me with her. He's met her once but they facetime off and on so I thought that's why he didn't have reservations. Dad left, J came.. and he never acted phased. Then my other sister V came and J left - all while he was sleeping - and he never hesitated. He doesn't try to interact with V like he did with J.. but he never got upset or questioned her getting him up or changing his routine.
We took him to the Dr and stated our concerns right after Dad left. We were met with different reactions ranging from annoyance that we were suggesting our child is special. One person even asking 'why we wanted our kid to be retarded".. yes that was the exact question. We keep hearing that we are 'worrying to much' or that 'kids talk on their own time' or that we are being 'paranoid because we know children with special needs'. Two year olds talk. Two year olds babble, they play pretend, they play with cars and make crashing noises. They mimic a cat or a dog. They laugh outloud or rush to a window to see the garbage man. They get mad because they wanna walk and explore.
A child isn't usually tested before the age of 2 for any special needs.. including autism. Our regular pediatrician had heard my concerns for the past year and agreed to get him in for a evaluation - 'that could take some time'. It's been two weeks and nothing has been done but a hearing test appointment made. I don't want something to be 'wrong' with my child. I don't want him to be different and put under a microscope. I don't want him to be different in our society and bullied because he learns different or talks different. I want to help my child. I want my child to ask for food, or a drink. I want him to tell him he wants to play or he is dirty/wet. I want to understand my child's feelings and I want him to get the help he needs as soon and as early as possible.
I'm hoping and praying that the stories I hear are real. I pray that one day he just wakes up talking, I pray that one day he runs up and gives me a hug (which he doesn't do). I want him to respond to his name and turn around to point to what he wants. His form of asking for a kiss is lowering his forhead to your mouth - which seems like he's headbutting your face.
My heart hurts for all the what if's for various reasons - and non of which is towards him, exactly. I hurt because I don't want him to be bullied, I want him to be understood and have friends. I want him to have relationships with people and make friends with other kids. I don't want my child going through this harsh life labeled but I do want him to receive the help he needs to excel. I don't want to compare him to his brother and secretly looking for delays in Little Dude too. I'm hurting because these are all very viable things but I have to do what's best for my child. The child that I love so dearly. The child that lights up my world with his smile and his sweet disposition. The little boy that just wants to be swung on a swing and chased by older kids. The little boy who seems to laugh when he's being hurt (by other kids) because he's naive and doesn't seem the darkness in their words.
So there it is my omission to the world that their is something going on with my oldest son. That we are looking into developmental testing and hearing tests. That we are entering a whole new chapter and territory that is down right scary as hell. A chapter where I'll need to surround myself, 110%, by supportive and understanding people just to make my lifes child better and stronger.
God, I pray that you are hearing my cry. I pray that you are guiding me to met new people who will build us up and help us grow. Lord I ask and ask for your guidance and patients as we start this journey. You set this path for us long before we knew a child would in our life and I am just asking for a simple shred of love and support. I'm asking for friends/people who will support our new chapter and that we figure out how to help Little Man grow and flourish.