Archive for February, 2008

Poop

February 28, 2008

Before I had a child, I never realized how much my life would revolve around poop. Before our son was born, I was a little nervous about changing poopy diapers, but for a while at least it wasn’t too bad. Sure there were some stinky ones and some that blew out of the diaper and made a mess, but for the most part I got used to it.

It seems like in the last couple of weeks though, the big topic of discussion between my wife and I is an update on our son’s pooping. A couple of weeks ago he seemed to not be pooping enough (he would go three days or so inbetween poops). Now for the last week and half it seems like he’s going too much. It’s always a fun game to see what will be in his diaper. Oh there’s a normal one! Wait now it’s runny again! Didn’t he just go ten minutes ago?

I know a lot of autistic kids have these ‘leaky guts’ and that’s what causes the runny poop. Until the last week or so we didn’t have any problems. Our son is on a dairy/mostly gluten free diet (tests don’t seem to indicate he needs to totally go off gluten). He does take quite a few vitamins so maybe that’s it or just a stomach bug.

All that to say, after a long day I’m literally and figuratively pooped!

Life changes in an instant

February 27, 2008

It’s amazing how you can be on top of the world one minute and in the depths of despair the next. In late August, life seemed pretty normal for me and my wife. Sure there are always challenges for a couple with two full-time jobs and a busy toddler. But we knew we had a pretty good life. The day before we would begin to suspect autism might be in our lives, we both took the day off work and enjoyed a leisurely day at the mall just hanging out, shopping, seeing a movie (The Simpsons), and eating. This was kind of an anniversary present to each other….just getting a day to be with each other while our son was at daycare. I specifically remember the happiness I felt over lunch talking about the funny things our son does, pop culture, some exciting new job prospects, and the thought of a really fun trip the next year we could maybe take to celebrate the next anniversary.

The day after this outing also seemed like just another nice day. We had a stress-free shopping experience with our son in tow and were looking forward to my parents coming out for a visit. After our son went to bed though is when our lives would change forever. My parents took on a serious vibe and wanted to have a talk with us. I figured someone in the family was dying or something. They voiced some concerns about things they were seeing in our son that as first-time parents we hadn’t really noticed. Suddenly words like ‘developmental delays’ and ‘autism’ were being thrown around.

Surely our perfect little guy couldn’t have autism? Now that you mention it he doesn’t have the greatest eye contact and does seem really drawn to lights and wheels, but that’s just his thing, right? Maybe he isn’t saying a lot of words, but boys develop at a different pace, right?

For a couple of months I tried to reassure myself that this was all just some kind of bad dream and that we’d wake up and not have autism in our lives. But alas, we do, otherwise there would be no need for this blog.

The bad news….in December we got the official autism diagnosis. Our hearts were broken, dreams seemed to shatter daily. What will become of our precious little boy we wonder constantly.

The good news…slowly but surely, we’ve seen him make some great strides. He’s still just a little peanut at 2 years old (my wife likes to say that compared to us he’s only days old). He’s receiving therapy daily at a great center we found. And he’s got to be the cutest, funniest, coolest little guy I’ve ever met.

What will the future hold for my family? I wish I knew. I constantly wish I could travel forward a year or two and see what our family looks like. Is my son doing better? Do our lives have any semblance of normal? Did that pill they’re creating to restore hair growth come out and if so did it work on me?

But I know I can’t travel into the future (or change the past for that matter). I know all I can do is be in the now and plan the best I can for the future. People tell me all the time I’m doing everything I can be doing. But most days that doesn’t make it any easier. Slowly but surely I’m learning to be more patient and to laugh even when life doesn’t seem too funny.

Welcome!

February 26, 2008

So I’ve finally decided to enter this blogging world. For quite a while now I wanted to start a blog but couldn’t figure out what to write about. Well, a few months ago my 2-year-old son was diagnosed with autism and since a good chunk of my thoughts and energy are devoted to autism, I figured I might as well write about that.

I’m still getting used to this blog provider, so please bear with me as I fiddle around with the look and feel of it.

I guess when I was first dealing with the possiblity of autism, I searched for resources for dads dealing with this. It seemed like I mostly found things geared towards Moms and the blogs and websites I saw that Dads had done were usually very depressing and scary for a soon-to-be-parent-of-an-autistic-child to read. I wished there was a place where there could be honest discussion, but also some source of hope.

So that’s what I hope this blog can be. A place for me to speak my mind about my life and to offer some advice, hope, and encouragement to others who may be dealing with this too.

The title of this blog is “1 in 150.” That’s because right now in our country 1 in 150 kids are being diagnosed with autism. That’s a pretty scary number. The numbers are even worse for boys (something like 1 in 80 or 90).

So in the coming days I hope to tell you what got me here and what life is like these days with an autistic toddler. I think this blog will be hopeful, poignant, funny, and perhaps a little venting too from time to time. Enjoy!