It has been at least four years ago that I started writing about my journey with autism that somewhere my beginning is buried in the many posts I have done. I didn’t suspect that I would be on a journey dealing with the affects of autism (which I am told) can have varying degrees. According to medical specialists my son does not only suffer from autism but from a genetic problem leading to learning disabilities. This can be frustrating as he struggles with sensory overload and some of the other symptoms of autism but not being able to remember and retain what he is being taught is a challenge of its own.
I started out with a very difficult and trying pregnancy which we thought at 9 weeks gestation he would not survive. We prayed and asked many others to join us and he was able to make it to 36 weeks. Before we left the hospital he did not pass the normal newborn tests and was referred to our school for the deaf. It was assumed our son had a hearing problem. After several hearing tests were done he was referred to a specialist for his speech. We spent many days and weeks at the doctors office, specialists office, the hospital running tests and back home for therapy. He received; physical, occupational and speech therapies. It wasn’t until he was about 3 years old that we finally had a diagnosis for autism. His first diagnosis was cerebral palsy.
Looking back after many days and months reading every book I could get my hands on I finally realized that many of the tests and procedures that were done was most likely a symptom of autism.
We struggled with swallowing, stiff muscles (too much tension/tone), hand flapping, tip-toe walking, licking furniture and other items, putting on shoes – this was a major obstacle as he didn’t like shoes, his or anyone else’s. I remember one time that I was at the store getting new shoes for myself and I put the ones I was going to purchase in the bottom of the cart and he started screaming. If I removed the shoes from the cart he would stop but if I put them back in he freaked out. Where most children like new clothes or toys he didn’t like it at all, it took more time to get him used to the toy than to just keep the old one until it wore out. The majority of our struggles have been over sensory problems. I have now learned there is a word and definition to sensory overload. Which is common in children with neurological disorders. For my son he has too much sensory and does not know how to relax in a proper way.
To be continued…..