My name is Jean and I live in CT. I have been a work at home mom of two boys for 3 years. Jaylen is 3 1/2 and Xavier is 1 1/2. I am a wife, mother, homemaker, special needs advocate (Jaylen has Autism), teacher, friend, marketing executive, and MOMMY!
Contact me: JaysMomIsHome@gmail.com
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But here is what you've really come to see, whether you know it or not. This is the reason I blog, the reason I am who I am. Enjoy!
Jaylen's Story:He couldn't say "Mommy," the word every mom wants to hear, until he was 2.
Jaylen has Classic Autism, he has always been on the spectrum as opposed to regressive Autism, where a child is progressing normally and then suddenly starts to have deficits. We knew Jaylen was different by 6 months of age. We didn't know it was Autism, or even special needs, we just thought he was high strung, angry, and strong willed. He did not sleep well at all, in fact he still doesn't, and he cried a lot. Long tantrums that involved self injurious behavior and objects in our house being broken were a huge sign that things weren't right. His behavior has been rough since I can remember. He was able to complete complex puzzles by 9 months, but lacked in all social and emotional areas.
The most blaring thing about Jaylen though, was that he was still completely non verbal at 18 months. We initially thought it might be due to his hearing since he had many ear infections. He had tubes put in, his hearing was tested with near perfect results, and his ear, nose, throat doctor and pediatrician suggested we have him tested for developmental issues. We then realized he had other symptoms, sometimes as a parent you don't want to accept these things, or you turn a blind eye. At 18 months he:
- made little to no eye contact
- didn't respond to his name 75% of time
- had huge tantrums for what seemed like no reason
- did repetitive activity (stimming), flapping arms, filling and dumping buckets of toys for long periods
- had no empathy, no reaction to our emotions
- did no pretend play
- did not play with toys appropriately
- had echolalia (he repeats everything now that he is verbal, sometimes right away, and sometimes has delayed echolalia) This is a post I did on Echolalia
- had no ability to answer questions
Jaylen has made tons of improvement. Which is why I am such an advocate of early intervention. I think Jaylen's early therapies were a miracle. Here are a list of what Jaylen can do now at 4:
- He is almost completely verbal
- Sometimes looks people in the eye
- Responds to his name (when he wants to)
- Does a little pretend play
- Can tell if someone is emotional, doesn't really get it, but recognizes it now
- Can answer some basic questions
- Has only 1 or 2 tantrums a week
- Stims a lot less
- Has less echolalia
We still struggle with potty training, sensory issues, intense anxiety, and social/emotional deficits. But we are getting there. We also have a 2 year old who is developing neuro typically with some sensory processing issues, but no other symptoms of Autism.