Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Three Sons with Autism

This mother wants to share her story. This item was emailed to this blog---AR

Hello, My name is Tonya Moyer, I have four sons, three of them being on the Autism scale to one extent or another,When I had my first son 13 yrs ago,after six months of preterm labor, being on meds to control the contractions, and finally 36 hours of labor, my first son was born,Travis. Autism and Aspergers are word's I dont think Id ever heard. Being a first time mom I was delighted in my son; his smiles and giggles and wonderful ability to learn,even though he was frequently sick with ear infections, he was so full of life and happiness in his first yr of life, he turned one, and things started changing , gone was my happy lill guy and in his palce came a very self centered ,fussy,angry little guy, at his one yr birthday party he was tired ,Ithought, and we brought him into a room full of toys and people who loved him ready to celebrate his big day, he cried the entire time, screamed and hit his head off the floor, i was so devastated, this was not the happy go lucky lil guy I had raised for the last yr. after that things got worse, he started not sleeping, bouncing off the walls most times, and hitting himself, alot of things "normal " children just dont do.All the while his pediatrician telling me give him time, he will come around,being a first time parent I had nothing to compare him to, and most of my freinds kids were all older,so there was no sence trying to compare his behavior to there kids , they were all yrs older than him.Eleven yrs. later Travis would be Diagnosed with Aspergers,after struggling for yrs.and many Dr.s telling me so many different things, i finally came across Aspergers syndrome, which described him perfectly.

Having split up with my oldest sons dad, i started dating and met and married a man. When we had been together for two yrs, we had a baby, it was a difficult pregnancy from the getgo, preterm labor, in and out of the hospital, on all kinds of meds to stop the labor, two months in a hospital and being on heavy doses of magnesium sulfate,they realeased me and i returned home to give birth a week later to my second son, Zachary, he was 6 weeks early but weighed almost eight lbs.!He was a very sickly baby, tongue tied and unable to nurse, I had to buy preemie nipples to feed him.When he was two weeks old he was hospitalized for RSV ,which started a very long yr, of in and out of the hospital ,ear infections,and hearing tests to check and see if he could hear. He didnt meet any of the normal developmental milestones, would just lay around and girgle to himself,i was concerned for my son, to no avail, his Dr. said he would be fine, at 12months of age he put him in the hospital to clip his tongue and put tubes in his ears, His Dr.said this would help him with the ear infections and talking..and walking..(due to the ear infections his Equilibrium had been off), after getting the tubes in his ears he finally started walking at 14 months,but still no talking, no interst in playing , or being held,any of the normal things a baby does.

His Dr. finally at my insistantce reffered him to a birth to three program which helps children with developmental problems by offereing therapies to overcome speach, physical,and Occupational development.They did an eval on him started therapy and were the first to mention Autism to me, after two yrs of therapy my son could finally say some words though not clearly, you could only understand him if you knew him, and I had tied toget a diagnosis but with no luck, all I got was alot of questioning and cried alot of tears , from feeling as if I would never get my son the help I knew he needed.I got pragnant again in 2002 gave birth to a third beutiful little boy, Tra, and watched him sooooo closely, for any signs of developmental problems.He developed so wonderfully, I was overjoyed , he was a happy smart funny lil guy, he would chase after his older brothers from six months on, happily knocking down anything they might be working on, just to get their attention, he is and will always be my little helper, he walked at 8 months, would get after his brother Zachary who was only interested in lining his cars up, and force him to play cars with him, this angered Zach so much, but eventually he came to accept Tra wasnt going to take no for an answer, and gave in after many fights... Tra always keeps after Zach, making him aware of his surroundings, they are the best of buddies, Zahc says Tra is his bestest freind to wich Tra just grins and looks sheepish. In 2004 I found out I was expecting again, much to my surprise, and went through another 8 months of preterm labor and gave birth to another little cutie, Woody. He was a fussy baby , hard to get to sleep and still is,he developed fairly typically until he recieved his 12 month shots, he walked at 8 mo. and talked at 6 months, but when he got his shots, the week after his birthday, he changed, he had a bad reaction to the shots, stopped talking within two days, and started hiding under the table, squatting in a corner, or siiting under my computer desk,doing nothing, he bacame fascinated with balls , any of them, he would gather them up and take them to his "hiding "spot and just sit there holding them , No smiles no giggles just sitting there. I called the same program who had worked with Zachary,Birth to three, and they came and did and evaluation,they had added a psychologist to there team of therapist by now and could give Woody what they couldnt give Zach yrs ago, a evaluation from a psychologist, who was Qualified to give a diagnosis. he had so many sensory issues it was crazy , he screamed bloody murder when put in the tub, he cried if you touched his collection of balls, he quit eating and had to go on supplements , ovaltine, and carnation instant breakfast are his normal diet .he had his eval uation from the Psychologist and was immediatly Diagnosed Autistic, although he was slipping away fast, we started intence therapy, and were able to pull him back to us, The intense therapy saved him, he smiles again, though still has alot of therapy ahead of him , he at least will interact now with us again, he as well as Zach and Travis have special needs, those needs are expensive, Ive had to quit my job to watch the kids; as no one wants to deal with Zachary, who is still moderatly Autistic,(Travis has Aspergers, Woody is mildly Autistic), he has frequent meltdowns and will throw things , chairs, bricks, anything he gets his hands on,and no one wants to deal with it, and to be honest I hate asking as well.Not knowing if someone will keep there cool with my son or mistreat him in a fit is too scary to deal with , Ive seen family I never thought would mistreat him, lose there cool after being bitten or smacked, and although I know personally how this feels, my son does not mean to do these things , I see the agony in his eyes ,the defeated look that comes across his face when he cannot get his meaning across to you, the sobs coming from his room when he goes there to calm down; are heartbreaking. Financially my family is a mess, there simply arent any programs out there to help families that need some supplemental income, I think there should be some specific work at home jobs offered to families with special needs , I cant work outside the home right now, I am willing to work, would love to work, but fear for my childrens safety. I tried some of those online jobs, they either want money or programs needed on the computer I dont have and cant afford to buy.I plan on going back to work next yr when Woody goes to special Ed preschool, but until then my kids arent getting the therapies they deserve, the tutoring that would help them,and the supplements that help there moods and digestive systems.Insurances dont want to pay for these things becouse they arent "approved" treatments, it is so sad that you can only help your child if you are rich, some of these diets , supplements , and therapies have been known to work, unfortunately, alot of kids will never get the chance to find out if they can be helped or not.If you know of any workat home jobs that are out there that i could do,without investing $ I would love to know , for myself as well as alot of my friends... I think it is a great thing you are doing , I just wanted to share my story with you;Although it is much more datailed I have hit the high points.And I wanted to tell you I am glad there are people like you fighting for the children On the Spectrum, It is a daily struggle, Hard on all family members, marriages, and freindships. Sometimes isolation feels like it is closing in on you.... that there is no end in sight, then somedays, my sons do something so small ,but yet so wonderful, it makes the sun breakthrough the clouds of Autism, and lights up my whole world with happiness over there accomplishments...Thank you for taking the time to read this...
Tonya M.

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