Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Trust in a time of Autism

It seems that everyone I know with a two-year-old's two-year-old is speaking in complete sentences. Everyone except me. Joseph babbles, he says actual words and points, he even has a few phrases down. But no sentences, not even close. My husband had difficulty with annunciation as a child, so we were sure we'd see that in at least one child and Joseph does slur some things together. The pediatrician tells me there is a wide range of normal and that Joseph is still within that acceptable range. I try not to make it worrisome, but I won't lie. I worry.

The sibling of a child with autism is 50% more likely to have the developmental disorder than a child without an autistic sibling. That means, say if the autism rate is 1 in 150, for the sibling of an autistic child's chances are 1 in 75. The numbers don't tell the whole story though. There is still no clear genetic link in this disorder. The causes could very well be environmental as the children often grow up in the same home from conception to birth, consume the same foods, and are exposed to the same toxins. More research is needed.

No one ever told me that when I got pregnant with my second child when Shelby was six months old. Of course Shelby had not been diagnosed then, but looking back, we saw signs very early on. As early as two months. The crying jags that could not be soothed and were more than just purple crying. A stronger than normal aversion to strangers. The need to ALWAYS be tightly swaddled even when most babies had outgrown that phase. The bizarre reaction to sensory stimuli. Regardless, it would not have changed my decision to have another child. And when I did hear this statistic after Joey was born and Shelby had be diagnosed, a month after she was diagnosed, I became pregnant again with Will. Because what do I really have, if I do not have trust in God that He is in control and everything will work out for the best? If God knows we can handle another child with a developmental delay or a physical disability or even a mental or physical illness, He will send that child to us. By the same token, if God feels our arms can hold more children but our hands are full with special needs, any other children will be normally developing.

So, back to Mr. Joseph. Today he said a new word, "duck" and quacked like a duck. I was afraid to tell the pediatrician that he does not imitate or make animal noises, but she said that's mostly an interest thing with kids and not to worry. We have a well-child exam for 30 months scheduled in May and I won't be surprised if I get a referral for evaluation with the CDSA. I was actually surprised we didn't get one in September. I have to trust that whatever the outcome, God knows better than I do what to do and we will be taken care of. In the mean time, I am trying everything I can to help him learn language and be a successful person.

1 comment:

Kristi said...

Hey--I dont read your blog much. But, your children sound like mine. My dd is 5 now.... she had sensory stuff that was noticeable by 1 year. She liked to sit in blocks (the deep compression), she had a terrible gag reflux. She threw up at every meal, she also had a hard time being held sometimes. Brushing really helped her. I had my ds by the time I realized something was wrong. She was verbally delayed, couldnt potty train (although she was interested) it was awful. My ds1 Has a language delay, but few sensory issues. (DH and I had sensory issuewhen we were growing up---dh still gets motion sickness, and aversions to smells) I still bite pencils:) DS1 is in a Head Start program like his older sister was. He really likes it. My third child---Doesnt seem to have to many delays. I hate to get my hopes up but I think he might be within a"normal range":) When I was pregnant with him. I took my reg prenatal vitamin, folic acid, progesterone (I might have been low in my first two pregnancies--I consider all possibilities) BUT, I think the key for him not having sensory issues was taking OMEGA 3 vitamins three times a day. Omega 3 is suppose to help with nervous system dev....So if you continue to have children I HIGHLY suggest taking it. (Not that you were asking for advice)