Wandering and Waking Up
Yesterday I visited the Autism Speaks blog because of a post on Facebook. I was inspired by reading comments and posts. We have had our own issues with wandering since Adrian was age three. One day in particular was very bad. My husband works for a local foundry. They do a charity stationary bicycle ride every year. My husband decided to do this ride in 2007. Adrian had just turned three. Before Diagnosis, before special school program that helped him speak, before everything. We brought both kids to our local mall where the event is held. Some family members came out to support my husband too. My husband was supposed to be watching Adrian while I rocked our niece. He took his eyes off him for half a second and Adrian was gone. I knew he was fast but not that fast. I went racing towards the security to see if they could help while my husband went the other direction to see if he could find Adrian. He found him in the arms of a women who did not want to give him to my husband until he yanked Adrian out of her arms. This was the one and only time my son has ever wandered without me being glued to him. Once was enough to scare me for the rest of my life.
After this incident I was very careful not to go out in public often. I was obviously shaken and scared. We were done being clueless. It was time to Wake Up! My daughter was not at all a wander. She went in to the next aisle at a shoe store and that was as far as she went. There was something wrong with Adrian and wandering was not the only issue I had noticed. This is when it finally started to sink in. It wasn’t the fact that my youngest sister kept telling me signs of autism or that when my son finally started to speak she stated over and over again how robotic his voice was. It was that my “normal” child did not wander and my “non-normal” child did. I did my own research and started looking into Autism myself. When Adrian started school I asked about Autism and if his teacher who was Special Education certified and had taught autistic kids before thought that Adrian could be Autistic. He was too young for that diagnosis was her reply. Labeling children is a no no where I live until Magic age 5. Well I did not push though I should have. I waited till 5 and then we lost insurance when my husband got laid off so going for testing privately was impossible.
At six after my husband was back to work and genetic testing was done and our pediatrician had told us if Adrian is autistic he is extremely high functioning we finally went through private testing. Three Appointments and then a diagnosis. Adrian has PDD-NOS (high functioning autism) guess the pediatrician was right, Mood disorders, Sensory Processing Disorder, Auditory Processing Disorder, and ADHD. What do you know? the school finally did their own testing and came back with the diagnosis of ASD. I immediatedly joined Autism Speaks and got a 100 day kit. Then I went into reading mode and got every book to read. I won one at our autism support group and read it. Jenny McCarthy Louder Than Words. Good Book. I also read a book by Ellen Notbohm and Temple Grandin and several more which are now stored in my kindle app or on my book shelf. I tried talking to family but since none of them live with autism there wasn’t much they understood although they really did try. My husband was there. He shuttled us to every therapy appointment, answered questions when I couldn’t and let me go crazy when I needed to. He never read a book but he would listen as I told him what they are about. His opinion of Jenny McCarthy after he tried to read her book is that she is a husband hater. Anyways he was really there for me. I was depressed and crying and filled with rage and he never turned away or got mad at me or discouraged me. He was just there. He really is wonderful! For along time he and Adrian did not have a bond at all and over the last three years that has dramatically changed. Dad LOVES Adrian and the feeling is mutual finally.
I must admit I get carried away when I post, but writing about things that happened long ago brings those feelings right back and it is emotional and draining and in the moment I feel like I could write forever and it would never be finished. Thanks for reading!