Autism Awareness

A small part of me always knew he was "different." Even though he is perfect in my eyes, I could always tell that some of his mannerisms and obsessions with certain toys and TV shows just weren't normal. He wouldn't grip a pencil or hold a crayon. He would literally cry at school when they made him color or paint. Textures of clothes, foods and even rain would cause meltdowns.

At age 4 his K-4 teacher and I had a talk about some of his obsessions, his inability to describe his thoughts and his frustrations with his school work. I made the decision to take him to the pediatrician to discuss it.

Although I loved his pediatrician, she did not seem to think my questions and concerns were legitimate. I was aware that "he was only 4 years old." I was aware that "boys mature later." I was aware that "all little boys like trains and TV shows to do with trains." She made me feel like a bad mother. She made me question my instinct. She made me feel stupid and I cried all the way home from the appointment.

After consulting a friend of mine that is a pediatrician from our home town, we made the decision to switch to be her patient. She had met Landon numerous times and understood some of my concerns. She listened to me. She made me feel like a good mom for noticing and tackling it before he started back to school. We took notes, had his teacher take notes, had notes taken by anyone who basically came into contact with him.

She then referred us to a behavior specialist and family counselor who did actual testing and we finally had a diagnosis.

ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) - He is very high functioning. In the past people would have said he had Asperger's Syndrome. But now they are just "on the spectrum" so it cannot be used as a diagnosis.

ADHD NOS (not otherwise specified) - This basically means they can't decide how severe his ADHD is. But it isn't severe enough to need a stimulant

Fine Motor Skill Impairment - The cause of him not wanting to grip things properly or hold a pencil or crayon. He attends occupational therapy at school to help with this. We have also learned to love legos and kinnects which have drastically improved this impairment.

He has come such a long way and we still have a long way to go. But I'm proud to be his mom and advocate. If I don't advocate for him who else will?

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