It has been a while since I wrote. I started my writing business because I loved writing and my young children gave me so many ideas. I also had things I wanted to share with them like my time in the US Coast Guard but could not find a book that really shared the things they would be interested in learning, so I wrote and published one to share with them. Now my oldest son’s favorite thing is his Coast Guard Lego set!
I started this blog with the hope of sharing some of our experiences with our son’s Asperger’s. I was hoping to write regularly teaching all the things we learn and sharing experiences. Our house went thru a lot of changes and I just did not have time for writing. As the dust has settled I am ready to share and have so much to share. A year ago we were really just starting to understand the diagnosis…now we have so much to share.
Our oldest son was diagnosed with Asperger’s at the age of four. He had a lot of behavior problems that resulted mainly from sensory issues. His other struggles are social. It is honestly hard for me to remember because he is a totally different kid now. He completed 24 weeks of occupational therapy, has a home therapy room, and he is a great kid now. He has learned so much about what makes him feel better and what makes him feel yucky it is a totally new world for him. He told the dentist he could not have the toothpaste because it has red 40 and blue 1 and asked for a substitution.
My youngest son, our baby, in so many ways is opposite of his brother. At 20 months the only expressive language he used was “NO.” He had never cried for a diaper change, never asked for food or drink, just would not communicate verbally or non-verbally. At first I thought I was over worried since his brother started talking at 7 months. We looked and looked for therapy nothing was available; he is still on a waiting list. He had a beautiful voice when he would talk but it was on his terms never to communicate, never imitate, and certainly not on demand even if he did want the water or snack.
I talked to a friend that was and audiologist she said don’t use categories. She also said you will have to teach him what I’m gonna call the “threes” a dog in person, a dog in a photo, and drawing of the dog. She also checked his hearing which was fine. We had just figured out an allergy problem so she said he may just catch up if he was not hearing well with all the infections. This was a very challenging time. I had never taught my older two to talk, they just picked it up.
After about a week of no categories and lots of threes talk he used his first word “CUP!” We found a college student who was wanting to go into speech therapy to work with him. It was so great having her, he slowly got more and more words and started using them to express his needs. If he was in a good mood he would sometimes imitate. Cup meant he needed a drink and bar meant he was hungry, granola bars were his favorite.
The biggest change came when we figured out the other allergy. I should have known earlier but the doctors kept telling me no he was not allergic to milk. He had been really sick for about a week. All he would eat were his bars . We had taken milk away but it would get better for a while then he would get worse again. It for some reason just clicked and I checked the bars ingredients, the only thing he had really eaten, they contained whey. What is whey? A protein that is contained in the liquid portion of milk a byproduct of making cheese that is waste…except…they put it in LOTS of other things in really high concentrations! It has been six weeks since we eliminated ALL milk except cheese. He is a talking machine!! He is a completely different kid. This morning for the first time he told me he was hungry!!
We had the amazing experience of attending the Autism and Asperger’s Conference in Salt Lake City, UT this summer. We learned so much and confirmed so many things we had done with our boys to see huge improvements. There is so much to share. Little things can make a big difference but you are not likely to hear about them at the doctors. I already had the joy of sharing this story with one friend that has seen positive changes in her little guy. What a blessing!