Friday, 30 March 2012

30 DAYS OF AUTISM... Prologue Part 2

My little idea for 30 days of Autism has somehow gained momentum...Mainly due to the enthusiasm of my friend and fellow Blogger, Lisa Gallegos, of  Seven Yuck Mouths and Autism.

Thanks to Lisa we have at least another 6 Bloggers joining us to spread the word during Autism Awareness Month. Another Bloggy Mum is making a 30 Days of Autism Button for us all to add to our Blogs so you can follow the fun easily :-)

Now I need to finish my Prologue with Ryans story...

Ryan is my second child,now aged 8. He is commonly referred to in  our family as *The Shadow*. MY Shadow to be precise. We are *tight*. Where I go he does too.He is also my helper in the mornings. This is a nervous time for him, as he is a time keeper and worries constantly about being late for school. I have counteracted this by giving him jobs, which he does willingly and  has our morning routine down to a fine art.

Ryan,like Pierce has Aspergers.His diagnosis was not as *easy* or as fast as Pierces.

Like Pierce,Ryan arrived on his due date. I had a textbook pregnancy, thought the morning sickness was a killer (didn't have it with my first born).

Labour was a long drawn out affair with broken beds and many other set backs and  Ryan stuck crowning for a few hours. Because it was such a long 2nd stage Ryan had electrodes attached to his head to monitor his progress.he never skipped a beat so I had to endure the endless hours of nothing happening at all!!
He was finally delivered at 8.09 pm.Because he was stuck in the crowning position for a few hours (ouch!) he had an indent around his skull.I immediately thought of the movie Coneheads! Apart from this he was big (9lb) and beautiful. He was pink and chubby and I adored hearing the Midwife tell her trainee that he was a perfect specimen and this is what  a drug free labour and healthy pregnancy produces. He got a perfect score on his Apgar, which is apparently an unusual occurrence.

Ryan was an easy baby.He loved routine. Loved sleeping in his cot,swaddled tight and lights  off.
He hated being cuddled unless feeding and NEVER went to sleep anywhere but in his cot. If we were home he was perfect but he did not *travel* well.Any change to his routine was met with distress. This did not really concern me as with two children under two I did not go out much. Ryan was quiet and serious. I called him serious Sam but again was not concerned.

Then Ryan turned one and TURNED! OMG my quiet, easy baby turned into a nightmare.he screamed all day and all night. He ran away the minute my back was turned and then he screamed some more. I was lost and confused and also pregnant with my 3rd child so totally exhausted.

Ryan was the easiest child to breast feed but impossible to wean. Extremely fussy with solids,would only eat store bought bland baby foods (heartbreaking for a Mama who is a chef) and had his *Bo Bo* (bottle) until almost 5 years of age.

He was a tornado... ran, jumped, ran some more and wrecked everything around him. I sought help many times from our GP who told me he was *just a boy and on the extreme end of toddler behaviour*.

Ryan also head banged and rocked and had no  interest in toys unless it was throwing them over our back fence or balcony. He also loved eggs... throwing them, and flour, emptying it on the floor and rolling in it!

Still he started Preschool and although had extreme separation anxiety and from what I could see no real  friends he slipped under the radar. I worried every day I dropped him off about the lack of friends and watched him pace the playground as I left. He somehow had found a way to blend and other then a couple of teachers mentioning he was *unusual* he did ok...

Then he started school. Ryan fell apart almost instantly. I had been struggling with Ryan and his extreme behaviour for years at home but recently my time had been taken up by Pierce and his assessment period and subsequent diagnosis.

The day Pierce was diagnosed was also the day of Ryans first Parent Teacher interview. I arrived stressed and numb from my meeting with our Paediatrician. I should mention, the whole time our Paed was rattling off * traits of ASD* I had these alarm bells ringing in my head, saying *RYAN<RYAN>RYAN*

I sat down with Ryans teacher,a beautiful girl who has taught all my boys, and heard these words...* We have some very real concerns with Ryans behaviour and feel you need to have him assessed*...Yes,I handled it beautifully and burst into tears. I told his teacher of Pierces diagnosis and my concerns about Ryan and she was lovely and amazing and was such a huge support during Ryans diagnosis. She also had Ryan in her class for over 6 months undiagnosed so no support but she was amazing.

So, the roundabout started again, Ryan was different. He was extremely hyperactive and at first glace seemed very ADHD. I was lucky that during our first Psychologist appointment he displayed  some very ASD traits. I arrived at the Paed appointment with a report stating they felt Ryan was possibly on the Autism Spectrum but displayed extreme Hyperactivity that needed to be addressed.

So began our journey with Meds.I have addressed this issue in a previous post

It became very clear as Ryan got older that he was indeed *on the Spectrum* and at the age of 7was finally diagnosed with Aspergers. His Hyperactivity is actually a reaction to stress...he now calls it the *jiggles* and as he has grown older his Aspie traits have become more obvious.

So with two boys with the same diagnosis I have had two very different journeys...I am on another journey now with my daughter but will post about that soon.

I am excited about April and Autism Awareness Month and 30 Days of Autism...Our kids are amazing and the world would not be as wonderful without them. We need to get the word out. Read and share friends.

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