What Autism Looks Like to Us

Autism looks different in everyone's world. I knew something was Special about Kaden when he was 2yrs old.  Ok, Honestly even earlier then that.  Rewind to his Birth he was 4 weeks early weighing in at 10lb.  Yes, I make them BIG!!!  He was Amazing, nothing at all out of the ordinary.  When he was 5 weeks old he started getting sick...he had RSV.  We spent several weeks in 3 different hospitals and before the last move to the 3rd hospital the Dr. was very upfront with us with tears in his eyes and said Kaden Only had about a 5% chance of making it through the night.  I drove behind the ambulance begging God to give us a Chance to raise this sweet baby boy.  I couldn't believe that Kaden's little life could end sometime in the middle of the night.  

After almost 30 hours of no sleep we received some promising news from the Dr.  He came right out and said it was a Miracle and he wasn't a Religious Man, but he had no other way to explain it.  After Kaden gained strength and was given a clean bill of health we were ready to leave the Hospital and start Our life.  

The Major things I noticed differently with Kaden if I think back now is the Colic and the fact that everything he ate would come right back up.  He slept between us in his car seat for the 1st whole year.  Every time we tried to lay him down he would scream.  And the fevers....at least once a week I would notice glossy eyes and he would have a fever.  The Dr. never had an answer, just that some people get a raised temp more often then others.  
As far as behavior he was quiet, never showed any interest in his play-set with a million things dangling in his face, but he loved Balloons.  He could play with a balloon for 3 hours straight....no lie!    Nothing ever seemed to phase him except sound.  His Favorite toy had to be the millions of flip books.  All he did was flip up and down the little flaps.

I would say the Year of him being 2 was much like the 1st.  Except his eating was totally normal, actually more normal and less picky then even now.  :)  

Kaden's choice of past time was organizing and lining EVERYTHING up.  Nothing was out of the question. 

He started Reading when he was almost 3 and started learning Addition and Subtraction way before he was 4.  At the point when he wanted to learn his multiplication facts we thought we were Blessed with a Highly Gifted Child.  Great Homeschooling him is going to be Easy!   But I started to notice everything had to do with Order and Numbers.  Certain Words and Actions required noises instead of words or along with the actions.  Everything had to be Perfect and he still Reacted Negatively to Sound and Touch.  He still to this day is HIGHLY SENSORY SEEKING.  All day, Everyday.  It disrupts our daily life.  So, I started thinking Maybe it was more then just being above Average.....

We  started to look at areas he was behind in, potty training, self feeding( Kaden never ONCE even held his Own bottle)eye contact, he was Speaking very well and had a vocabulary years ahead of his peers, but was never on topic. We noticed a room full of toys he never played with, he just lined everything up and always isolated himself.  He was always hiding under things or behind them, especially when the noise level was raised with a TV or having a video game on or music.

By the Age of 5 nothing had improved, not even the potty training.  We knew in Kaden's World everything seemed too Loud and Scary to him. Everyday he needed to be wrapped in a tight blanket with pressure applied just to help him calm down. He would bring me several blanket and stand infront of be with tears.  He would cry out, Help me Mom, Help Me!!!! Even now as he approaches 7 years old he gets wrapped at least twice a day. 
He Flapped and Twirled constantly and still does.  We first saw this back when he was 2.  It was cute then, but now sometimes the Stimming is so intense he causes harm to himself.  So, we keep a close eye on him.   That child Walks on his toes and loves the pressure of Water unless it gets on his face.  We are at the current moment having a hard time to get him to bathe because of the water situation.

A year ago before ABA Therapy I would tell you that He would rather play Chess or solve Math problems then play with action figures or play Hide and Seek.  And that he has NO Filter on his Mouth and will say whatever he is Thinking LOUDLY!!!!  I would have said Socializing to him is coming down to Dinner and not eating with his Hands and smearing food all over himself.  And that he has no desire to play with other kids unless that want to play Chess, Organize something, talk about Math. And in the past if he would have Approached a child it was Obvious that he was Sailing in Uncharted Waters. :)

Fast forward to the Present, where the Man is about to turn 7 I would tell you he still Smears food and eats like he's 2 most days, but so what.....
He still would rather Play Chess or Video Games then Socialize with the Outside world, but, he has improved Tremendously.  He will now do things with the Family.  He will try and tolerate "Life" as much as he can.  He is learning to Communicate with us in words and not sounds so we can figure out his limits.
He still has no Filter and I don't think any amount of therapy is going to fix that, but so what.  People will get his Humor and Frankness or they will just head the other Direction.

What about other Kiddos to play with????  We recently started playdates and if I'm to be completely honest with myself I think he is going through the motions.  Kaden is very bright, he knows what buttons to push to get that cheese morsel, so to speak.  Is he truly wanting "Friendship"?  I'm not sold that he does, but the fact that he is spreading his wings is Monumental to me....soooo BAMMM!  I Step back from that and call it good!  :)

Math and Video games are still his Drug of choice. He will sit for Hours and Organize objects by color or shape. He constantly goes over Multiplication and Division facts or Video game maps and rules.  What he will do with that in the Future....who knows, but I bet it will be something extremely Awesome!

After all these years I thought he would sway a little on the Law of Rule, but that would be a Big Fat Nope!  Kaden is still very Rule Oriented, he will not Play a game, build a puzzle or Watch a show that is not Age Appropriate.  I am soooooooo not Kidding You, this is where the Flexible thinking ABA Program comes into place!  :)

What happens when Plans Change or Life just Hits. He gets Anxious, then comes the Anger and if the fire doesn't get put out fast, the Rage will come. And Kaden will say hurtful things and hurt himself.  I can not even get into the Rage right now, because this is the One and Only Piece to Kaden's "Puzzle" that I can not see to fit into any open spot.  It drains the Life out of Our whole Family.  The most tiring part of Autism in Our World is keeping Kaden Safe!!!  I wake up in the morning, every single Morning and my mind is already mapping out the day and mentally putting fire extinguishers everywhere that I think needs to be to keep Our whole House from Burning down.  

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for an honest peek into your life and Kadens! what a fantastic team you make as you walk this journey. We too know rages, unexplained behavior issues and struggles, but from adoption I suspect rather than autism. Either way, it is nice to know that there are moms out there working just as hard to make a good life for their child. And for loving them no matter the cost! You are GREAT mom!