I thought I should post a little longer introduction to us. It’s a bit too long for the “about” section, so I’ll tag it here.
So here is a little about my family now. I have six children–four boys, two girls. All four of my boys are on the Autism Spectrum. They are all high functioning and are in regular if not honors classes. We have high goals and aspirations for them.
Just so you know, I plan to write more on our journey with each of our children and their diagnosis.
In order of age:
Firstborn–is a boy, a freshman in college, and has diagnoses of Aspergers and anxiety. He was also our first to be diagnosed, which was about age 9 for him. He plays in the orchestra and prefers vanilla to chocolate, and classical music to pop/rock. He has struggled with perfectionism and the depression that can come when you feel you are not perfect enough. I think he is awesome the way he is. He has had a 504 mainly because of his anxiety.
Whirlwind–another boy, junior in high school, has Aspergers, and ADHD. Whirlwind has constant energy. When he was younger he had very volatile emotions that could swing from euphoria to anger in just minutes. He still gets frustrated easier than the others and loses his temper, but he’s made enormous strides in his emotional maturity level. He was initially diagnosed with ADHD and Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD). It was about seven or eight years ago after we finally got his ADHD under control, he was also diagnosed with Aspergers. He takes honors classes and has no accommodations in school. He has dropped orchestra to pursue engineering and other STEM classes. I think he could change the world.
Lawboy–my third boy is a sophomore in high school. He also has ADHD and a diagnosis of PDD-NOS. (Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified.). He gets distracted easily. Was originally diagnosed with ADD, but has gotten more hyper as he got older and is currently diagnosed with ADHD. He argues over semantics and exact language all of the time. He is rigid in his ideas and standards and has an extremely difficult time making friends. He was the last to get diagnosed. He loves music though and plays in the school orchestra as well. He is quiet and generous-almost too generous as sometimes his self-sacrificing has been taken advantage of by others. I think he is very talented and I could see him going far with his music.
Our fourth is Princess Ballerina. She loves to sing and dance and unlike her brothers, is not ASD. She chose a band instrument instead of strings to further differentiate herself. In the past, She feels put upon when her brothers take over electronics and will sometimes get whiny, but I am trying to teach her how to stand up for herself. She and I were the lone females until the youngest was born. She’s a good sister to her siblings and has often volunteered to help.
Acroboy. Acroboy is constantly running, jumping, doing handstands on the couch and climbing things. He had a speech delay–he really wouldn’t talk until he was two–and still has some speech issues. He was diagnosed as PDD-NOS (the NOS means “not otherwise specified”) which puts him on the Autism spectrum as well. Additionally he was diagnosed as ADHD. He is super smart and generally happy. He loves soccer.
BabyGirl. BabyGirl is not really a baby as much as she is a preschooler, but she’ll always be the baby of the family. At nine months I started to get concerned with her physical growth and development. She showed sensitivities to certain noises and didn’t like things touching the back of her neck. She was growing, but at each well visit appointment her weight dropped to a lower and lower growth curve. She was diagnosed as failure to thrive due to a milk protein allergy. We immediately cut any traces of dairy out of my diet and she found and kept a happy growth curve.
As she grew, she sat up and walked fine, but she missed other milestones like waving, kicking a ball and copying word sounds. She would barely say “Mama” or “Dada”. She cried when we picked up carpool kids and tried to hide her face under her blanket. Then there the sensory seeking behaviors she started. In short I knew she needed help.
I had been through the evaluation process with Acroboy, and I knew how long it could take to get her evaluated. I called our local Early Intervention program and arranged to have them look at her. She qualified for services at that time, but has since graduated from them.
I will be posting more in-depth about each child’s journey. I haven’t decided exactly how that will look yet, but we’ll figure it out together. Thanks for joining me today.