If you read my random ramblings regularly, then you will see I have started to document my thoughts, feelings and progress on what is going on with Dylan and his amazing life. I have added them under the category of autism though I have not bought myself to publish this as one of my top tabs yet as I somehow feel like a fraud using this tag before any form of diagnosis, I will save that worry for an entirely different blog post.
Yesterday I came across an autism post ‘The Food Problem‘ by another parent blogger, and I found myself nodding along with tears in my eyes, reading something you relate to reminds you that you are not alone with experiencing something such as your child not eating. Yet another post sat in my drafts waiting for me to finish off is all about Dylan’s food issues, but to sum it up basically crisp are his diet.
I wish I had found her blog sooner, these blog posts of hers which mirror our lives with Dylan. Every post she has written about her son could have easily been my words. Though she is much better with her words than me, I tend to waffle, but then anyone who knows me in real life knows waffling is pretty much all I do. Waffling on about Dylan’s issues is something I didn’t know how to do, when to do or if I wanted to. Which is strange for me as I do tend to blog through hard times as some sort of therapy, when I was pregnant with him I found talking out aloud about our Hyperemesis Gravidarum on social media a huge source of comfort and I didn’t feel alone when I had found people who had experienced it as well. The same for when the time felt right for me to share and blog about the mental health issues I also experienced during his pregnancy. So why oh why did I not talk sooner about Dylan?
After reading that food post, I needed to read more and then took to stalking her blog for the rest of the evening as I read the following posts and thought I’d share how I related to them.
Christmas Day under the table.. I was so worried about Dylan this Christmas and how it could overwhelm him, but at the same time we had his older brother who was mega excited, and we still needed to make it special for him. Thankfully it went ok, and he was pretty happy to just play with the new toys he saw, I am glad we didn’t get him much because he took no notice at all and the idea of unwrapping was not something to contemplate. He did not join us for long at the dinner table for Christmas Dinner, and I think a bowl of cheerios may have possibly been his Christmas Dinner. His main present was a Batmobile, and we got him this because he had seen some kid at the park in a ride on car and it fascinated him, he’s not played with it much since, but he likes the seating aspect with the belt as he loves playing with straps.
He amazes me every day.. When I started to write about Dylan I quickly wanted to focus on what he could do so I wrote ‘Not what you cannot do but what you can do‘. Sadly the Dada I mentioned you saying again quickly vanished but we have heard you say quack recently with your love of ducks and you are trying to say your name with Daddy. You are slowly giving eye contact to me; I will get some off you but oh how it makes me wish I knew you were thinking even more as you look at me with those big blue eyes of yours. Parties are still the same where you are alone in wondering around and not taking anything in, but the buffet table, oh how you are totally my child like that would be the only place I would hang around, but I do miss seeing you socialise with all your little friends.
Developing social skills through play.. Something we are trying to learn about in order to help Dylan is what will improve his social skills. He has no concept of interacting with other people, and something we read about was getting him involved in tasks such as loading the washing machine. I attempted to encourage this, but he looked at me as if I was crazy, though to be fair it was probably the same look his father would have given me if I was trying to get him to load the washing machine. Dylan will, however, feed the dog and this has become a routine thing of his, we will use the cup to gather the food and then give that to him who will take it over to the bowl and empty it out. We do and will continue to encourage him to play games that we play with Oli such as ‘shops’ and how we collect the item and then pay for them. For Oli, this is about learning maths, but for Dylan, this is learning about such a thing as picking items which we have to pay for, the social element more than the educational element for now.
Archie’s First Day At Nursery.. I’ve started drafting a blog post letter to the Nursery that Dylan was at but I’m still trying to pour the words into it. How we just didn’t feel that mainstream Nursery was working out for him and how we did not feel comfortable leaving him. I was ignoring everything which was happening in the hope Nursery might help, we got you a place at the best Nursery in town and decided to pay for you to attend just 3 hours a week at first and hopefully give you a few more in January. I was kidding myself, and I knew it all felt wrong the moment I dropped you off for the first time all the other kids were crying because their parents were leaving them, they understood this was happening whereas you didn’t really have any idea what was happening. Oh, how I wish you were one of those kids that were crying because I was leaving. I cannot remember if it was the same session where we got the report from them where I went to pick you up, and you saw me and became hysterical, I did not care about the queue that was happening for parents to wait for the kids and I ran to you and swept you up in arms, I think that look on your face said all I needed to know about leaving you again.
The Paediatrician Appointment. Yet another one sat in drafts, blogging time is rare these days (this one is only happening because I have been up since 4 am with Dylan!) but in exactly the same words that Joni’s paediatrician said ‘two is too young for an Autism diagnosis even if he is showing all the classic signs’. We love our paediatrician, she is so honest, and we are going back to see her in a few months time. She pushed us towards the stay & play groups at the SEN school and knew that we are waiting for a speech therapy appointment.
What comes next?.. The golden question that I keeping asking myself, we like Joni have got a letter back from the paediatrician with her report. Yesterday a speech therapy appointment finally came through, and we have that in February, but we are going to start going to the weekly speech therapy drop-in groups in the hope that may provide some help. I have found myself longing for Thursday’s at the moment, the day where we go to his stay & playgroup at the local special school, and this gives me a group where I can go with both Dylan and Charlotte and not have to worry about Dylan doing anything which may raise eyebrows at other baby/toddler groups.
Right now I feel far from being alone; there are people going through the same thing as us. Blogging is not only a good form of therapy, getting all those thoughts and words out of your head and down in black and white, but it can help other people. Reading those blog posts yesterday was like someone was holding my hand through this. I made the right choice by deciding to blog our own experience, maybe one day someone who is in the position I am right now might find my posts and feel like I’m holding their virtual hand.