My husband and I do not go out often. Since giving birth to our first child I have gladly given up those carefree nights of going out. Our first child was born while we lived on post in Fort Sill, Oklahoma. We did not have family around at all and I rather throughly enjoyed being at home with Jade. Adrian came along 28 months later after my husband had finished his service and we moved back to Michigan. We had all of our family around and that is really helpful. Our Adrian was not your typical child. He did not want to be held by anyone but me and cried when even I picked him up. We left him with family members occasionaly until age 2.
At that time he started having a lot of anxiety about me leaving him. He would scream a lot of the time when I was gone. At this point I really had no idea what Autism was or signs. I was so clueless. I had a child who had just begun to walk and could not speak. Every minute was spent trying to keep him from destroying something. He had delays and our early on worker had quit without warning. They never sent another worker out.
I could not see leaving my son who was joined at the hip to me basically with anyone for any period of time. I loved being with him. We spent a lot of our time with me trying to engage him. At 3.5 he started a program at our district school for Special Education. He was immediately enrolled in speech therapy and it did not take long before he was speaking. He started voicing his disdain for my leaving him. He did not like being left with his dad. Any time we chose to leave him I would hear after about him crying for mommy the entire time. It always upset me. I opted not to leave him anymore. We rarely ever do. I always reassured him that I would be back. Now since he knows time I tell him what time I will be back.
After diagnosis we started receiving a subsidy check from our state which is for children with certain disabilities. The director offers us Respite services every year. I have refused because of Adrian’s extreme separation anxiety. Respite in our area requires that you find a caregiver who the state will pay to watch your child so many times a year. This week he made progress. My husband and I decided to go out for the first time this year and asked his sisters to watch our kids. When we left the kids were playing in an outdoor pool. We were gone 5 hours and when we came to pick him up there was no running to me to have me pick him up and he did not cry or ask for me once.
He is becoming so independent. Part of me is sad because he is the last child I will ever have, but the other part is so happy because he was not anxious worrying about me. This time last year he would have still been asking for me. I am so proud of him and how far he has come. He will always be my baby, but I am glad to see him improving a skill. It is important to want to be independent. Steve and I cherish every minute he allows us into his world but i do not want him to feel anxious every time I leave. It’s not good for him. I am more than willing to give everything I have to the two greatest accomplishments of my life. Our son letting go and having confidence means we must be doing something right. The photo below is of Adrian at 3.5 on September 22, 2007. Shortly after he started his Special Education program.