I found an old journal from 2006 when my son was 3 years and 5 months old. I had always kept written journals for my kids that continued where the baby books ended. In these journals I wrote down cute things they did, words they said, milestones, and other information about them as they were growing each day. This journal is dated February 16, 2006 which seems like a 100 years ago now.
I feel like I have lived in a vacuum consumed by autism since 2006. I barely recall what life was like before then.
I had listed a long list of symptoms my son had at the time when I wasn’t sure what was wrong. It wasn’t until April of 2006 that we did a hair test. So I know when I began this particular journal I didn’t know much about Autism and my journey was just beginning.
I had listed the following symptoms in 2007:
- Continual movement usually jumping. He rocked on all fours in his crib, and began this when he woke up in the morning. When he learned to stand he jumped in his crib instead for long periods of time. He did this when he was stressed or bored and continued to do it when he got a regular bed. He would jump and yell or bang in rhythm to his jumping.
- He jumps when he is excited even if he is walking, he jumps instead.
- He likes to bang on everything.
- he refused solid food as an infant and gagged on most things.
- Only eats certain foods. If it looks different or tastes different he protest loudly and will not eat it.
- Resistant to anything new. Refuses to wear clothes.
- Slow in learning to care for himself
- Was working on potty training but seems to have regressed and there is no success yet.
- Things need to happen the same way every time or he has a tantrum. He even has to sit at the same restaurant table as the last time we went.
- Very shy and reacts negatively to other people. He will not make eye contact or speak to them. He usually says “go away!”
- As a baby he would cling to me with a death grip if someone came to visit us. He would cry and hide and refuse to speak to them.
- He cried and fussed at gatherings where there were a lot of people or noise.
- In the grocery store he would run everywhere and we had a hard time occupying him and getting him to listen and stay with us. He usually had to ride in a shopping cart to avoid this.
- He does not have any interest in leaving the house.
- He is curious about other children but has no interest in playing with them and doesn’t display any social interest.
- He doesn’t always understand what we say to him and we have to repeat ourselves a lot.
- Prefers to watch the same movie or listen to the same song over and over again.
- He does not sleep well. He woke at night until he was a year old.
- He began crying a lot at night around 4 months of age. We could not get him to sleep. We had to hold him and rock him all night.
- He screamed when you changes him or changed his clothing.
- He was hard to console and it felt as though he didn’t bond with us or make a connection. This did improve with age.
- He is sensitive to light and touch. He does not like his hair touched or washed or his back rubbed.
- He averts eye contact with anyone that he does not know. People comment how “shy he is”. He can make eye contact with mom if I encourage it repeatedly.
- When his father asked him to do something he looks confused and asks his mother “what is daddy saying?” Then I repeat it slower and he understands.
- He repeats requests over and over again even though he was told to wait.
- He puts things in his mouth like toys. He play inappropriate for his age, I have to keep telling him not to eat the toys or stand on them.
- He cannot locate an item when given verbal direction to find it.
- He is obsessed with the heat registers in the house. He can hear the thermostat click from anywhere and he runs over and sits in front of the heat vent waiting for it to come on. He even wakes up out of a sleep to do this.
- He is obsessed with flashlights,
- When you turn on the vacuum cleaner or hair dryer he yells “ah ah ah ah ah” over and over until you turn it off.
- He used to band his head when he was under 2 years old and we spent a great deal of time discouraging this until we got him to stop.
- He lined up toys instead of playing with them.
- He did not pretend.
- He cried in the car and hated riding.
- He did not stack his stacking cups, he lined those up too.
- He flapped his arms, especially when excited.
- He hopped instead of walked, he spun around sometimes.
- He made up odd words for items he didn’t know the names for.
I recall a child that was pale and liked to lay around. He wanted to watch his “clue’s” video over and over again. I spent a lot of time getting him to interact and play with me. In September 2005 it says he was peeing in the potty just before his 3rd birthday. Yet in the 2006 journal he had regressed and was no longer using the toilet.
He only began to eat limited foods when we took his bottles away in May 2005. Prior to that he lived on formula and getting him to eat was chore. He always had issues with constipation. I remember he changed a lot after his 2 and 4 month vaccinations. This is when he began not sleeping and crying all night. I remember the loss of eye contact after his toddler vaccines. I remember bits and pieces and when I go back and watch the home movies I realize that what I remember is actually better than what he really looked like.
It was those years when my son was slowly slipping to the edge. It was then that he was getting sick and that things were going wrong. But by the time I had started journal number two, age 3 years and 5 months I knew something was wrong. We did his hair test in April 2006. We began his first intervention in March 2006. I started probiotics and for the first time in his small life he began having regular bowel movements. He began eating oatmeal with flax-seed and taking Gamma Linoleic Acid after that. This was something he would never eat before. Then we started his multivitamin. My journal reports that he was happy, had better social contact. He actually removed a hair from his hand instead of flipping out and screaming which is what he normally did. He was trying to use his words more to communicate instead of screaming.
After starting his multivitamin he seemed to cuddle more with us and wanted me to be close to him during nap-time. He was coming out of his shell some. He was making rhymes and jokes. He just seemed happier over all than he’d been in a long time. He was more friendly toward strangers and doing better around other children. He as finally able to sit through dinner and was eating more foods. We were seeing fewer tantrums.
We did have the constipation come back in April even on probiotics and this created tantrums, irritability and he was very hyperactive. He had quite a few colds in that Spring which also created havoc on his behavior. We began grapefruit seed for yeast in May.
Looking back on this it seems so far away but reading it from my journal it all comes flooding back. I see how very close we were to going off the edge and losing my son completely. If I had not stopped vaccinations after the 18 month DPaT booster that caused his loss of eye contact I don’t know where we would be.
Next time I blog about the day I got his hair test results.
- The Beginning of the Edge (theedgeofautism.wordpress.com)