This is it. My first blog post of what I hope will be many to come. I’m taking the website’s advice and making my first post introductory just to explain why I’m here, in hopes of winning you over to hopefully give me more of your precious time in the future. The name of my blog is inspired by one of my sons, and is because life is like a puzzle that we are all trying to piece together and figure out.
My name is Anna. I have two little boys. My youngest is Isaiah and he is currently going on two months old. Then my oldest is Ira and he will be four years old in July. I’ll refer to Ira as “little Ira” most often, because he’s named after his father. Little Ira, is my inspiration to actually start writing. Several people have told me that I should write because I tell good stories or perhaps start a YouTube channel, because my son is quite the character. Well now that we have welcomed Isaiah to our family, I realize that it’s important to me to have an outlet, and I also really want to share my experiences.
Having a child with autism is quite an experience and everyone is different. My son seems to be high functioning in both my and my husband’s opinion, but we have yet to have him officially tested. We found out that our son may have autism when he was around a year and a half, but we had our suspicions a bit sooner. We noticed a change in little Ira around the twelve month mark which began with a lot more yelling and a lot less eating. He stopped eating any food that was not dry and crunchy. He would gag just looking at certain food or from smells. We thought it was odd and a little funny at first, but became very concerned once we realized that he no longer wanted to eat the majority of food we offered. He went from eating foods like pizza, chicken wings, oatmeal, and bananas; to chips, animal crackers, cereal and Gerber graduate puffs.
So our journey began. We asked his pediatrician about it on three separate occasions, to which his response was not very concerned, but he end up referring us to feeding therapy. Once there, the therapist tried a couple of different sessions to get him to eat other foods, but he was very stubborn. My husband was at home full time and so he began taking little Ira to the appointments alone and I went to work. After his third session, my husband called me and told me that the therapist asked him if we ever tested for autism. He was upset and I was caught off guard, but did my best to stay positive. After discussing the situation with the therapist in our next session, we decided it was more important to pursue occupational therapy in order to work on other “problem” areas. Little Ira struggled with staying on task for more than 2-3 minutes at a time and his fine motor skills. He also was not talking very much.
Then my husband and I went through some rough moments where we were hurt and angry, but hopeful that we could figure out the best way to work through things. So I began doing research and read about a gluten-free/casein-free diet (GFCF). After around three weeks of being on the GFCF diet, little Ira began talking to us more. He started putting two words together as well, and this all started after he was two years old.
For the last almost two years, we have been working with little Ira, to get him to communicate. He is so much better now and can say entire sentences, but we still struggle a lot with him being able to communicate his needs to us. He can speak without too many problems, but a lot of his communication is echolalia. Echolalia is when you just repeat what is being said and don’t really form your own sentence. This works many times so that we are able to have a back and forth, and he learns from it so that he can use the same sentence next time he needs something, but it can get frustrating at times. Sometimes I don’t know if he understands what I’m telling him, or he’s just repeating it.
We have a lot of struggles, even though we’ve also had a ton of improvement. I’d like to share some of my specific experiences and how we were able to overcome some issues. Maybe this blog can help you with your children or loved ones with autism. Or, maybe you can read things that just let you know that you aren’t alone. We can help each other so that we are able to guide our children through their lives in the most successful way possible.
Thanks for spending time with me and stay tuned for more posts coming soon!