When I was little, all I ever wanted to be is a mom! I wanted lots of kids, maybe a few sets of multiples! I loved babysitting, loved taking care of kids altogether. Well, than I grew up and had 4 kids, and mostly it's everything I imagined it could be. I love my children more than anything in the world. I would do ANYTHING for them.
Well, this month it has come to a point where I've had to prove this to myself. We've had concerns about Benjamin since the day he was born. The doctor told us to watch for water on the brain because he had such a huge head! He had aspirated liquid into his lungs during birth, and was in the hospital for a week. We were only able to bring him home then because my mom (an awesome Registered Nurse, grandma AND mom) could give him his antibiotics in a shot about 4 times a day (and night). As we watched him grow, we noticed little things about him that we began to label as Benjamin's Quirks. He was an awesome baby, soooo happy, so beautiful. He was an awesome toddler. Well behaved, sooo happy, and the apple of our eyes! But, he seemed to have coordination issues. Walking down stairs was a left foot down, right foot together, left foot down a step, right foot together. Rather than the right foot down, left foot down, right foot down . . . He still does this as a 12 year old. But, as parents, he was our little perfect baby with a few funny little quirks.
In first grade he was diagnosed with ADD, but NOT ADHD. The doctors thought that very strange. USUALLY boys have the hyperactivity issues associated with attention deficit disorder. But not Ben.
Well, grade school was tricky, but we found ways to help him through his learning issues at school and he pulled fairly good grades. He still had a few more "quirks" that we just thought were Benjamin's quirks. He HAS to have his right foot moving ALL THE TIME. Sitting, standing, lying on the bed. He says if he doesn't move it, he feels like he is going to burst. He loved four wheelers and motorcycles, tractors and lawn mowers, street sweepers and garbage trucks. He could tell you exactly how each one works, and what each of their specific names and uses were. But if mr. street sweeper showed up offering Ben a ride in one, he would be soooo scared to get on it.
Now were in 6th grade at the Middle School (or here in Brigham it's known as the Intermediate School) He has 7 classes, and he is getting B- as his top grade, and Fs in 3 of his classes. He has this fascination with writing utensils, and it is almost like an addiction to him. If he sees one on the ground, counter, desk, car . . . he HAS to have it. His 6th grade teachers have called and talked to us about what they are seeing, and we tell them what we have experienced over the years. We are beginning to think that this is more than just ADD.
We research and research and come up with some symptoms in the Autism family that match his to a T. So we call doctors, psychotherapists and get him in. Our thoughts were that he had Aspergers, which is most commonly misdiagnosed as ADD. Now that he's hitting puberty, his hormones are sending him overboard (this is what doctor tells us) and causing his symptoms to be more severe.
Well, we got a diagnosis Thursday from his Psychotherapist, and we were right about it being in the autism family, but not quite the Aspergers. He has what is called PDD NOS. Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified. This means that he has pieces of lots of different aspects of the autism spectrum, just not enough of one or the other to label him in one.
What does this mean? More trips to the psychotherapist, more intervention with the schools, possible home schooling if it comes to that . . . and mostly, I dont know yet!
So now I look at everything my other kids do that is quirky, and I worry myself to pieces. I actually firmly feel that my other babies are fine and dandy! We don't notice any quirks that affect their daily living. Just quirks that mean they're kids.
Anyway, breather, unloading all done. That's our newest little family challenge. One day at a time right!
Last night I told my husband "It's hard to be a mom" he laughed and asked me if I thought it was supposed to be easy.
I think it should be!