Thursday, April 30, 2009
For the next 6 months Haiden received Speech Therapy and Occuational Therapy each week for an hour through First Steps. I didn't realize it at the time but his O.T., Tara Danielson, became our angel and someone I am forever grateful for. She opened my eyes to Sensory Integration. At first it sounded really weird to me but the more she educated me on it, the more it made sense. I finally understood why Haiden would lie on the floor to play and why he would slam into furniture. His sensory needs also explained why he would jump off the 5th or 6th step and why he hated things on his hands. She taught me that swinging, giving bear hugs, and making human sandwiches were very calming for Haiden. She also discovered that eating crunchy foods would help him calm down as well. Tara recommended several books that were very helpful including The Out-of-Sync Child, Raising a Sensory Smart Child, and Sensational Kids. Tara would tell you today that Haiden was a very difficult case. It took several months for us to figure things out and several more months for Haiden to regulate his sensory system but Tara never gave up. Her persistence was inspiring. It was during this time that I knew more than ever that something wasn't right with Haiden. How did we get to this point? What went wrong? What did I do wrong? The guilt became overwhelming and I felt anxious all the time. I finally decided I needed to take Haiden to a specialist hoping he/she would rule out my biggest fear.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Haiden continued to babble like crazy but it was very difficult to understand him. He would get frustrated and just shut down, blocking us out. We also started to notice that he would get very upset when certain things got on his hands, when we transitioned to something different, or when we were in a large crowds. Haiden also liked to lay on the ground when he played, would slam into furniture, and jump off 5-6 steps onto the floor. He continued to have severe constipation (on a prescription laxative), a funky rash, and would get sick a lot. It was around this time that he became obsessed with the Dave Matthews Band. We bought him a little drum set and he loved it. He would watch the Dave DVD and drum the rhythm of each song. I thought I had a musical prodigy in the making. When we would get home each afternoon that is all he wanted to do, play the drums while watching Dave. Brian had also taught him the Notre Dame fight song and Haiden would sing it every morning on the way to preschool. As he continued to amaze us by counting everything and identifying letters everywhere we went, I started to worry more and more. I knew what autism was, I worked with students every day who were on the spectrum. I had a horrible feeling that Haiden had autism but I didn't want to believe it. Soon I would have to face reality and nothing could prepare me for the heartache I was about to experience.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
After Haiden had his tubes put in he started talking more but he was very difficult to understand. Of course this caused a lot of frustration so we started to see more and more tantrums. Around this time there was the nation wide flu scare. On the news every night was how this deadly flu was spreading throughout the country. As a concerned mom I took Haiden to the doctor to get the flu vaccine. (To this day the flu vaccine still has thermisol which is 40% mercury. This is after the CDC issued a statement in 1999 saying thermisol had been taken out of all vaccines due to its unsafe mercury levels.) A few days later he broke out in a rash and he started to get yeast infections. The doctor told me to apply an anti-fungal cream on his rash and yeast infection. (For the next 6 months Haiden battled a rash and yeast infection, there weren't any treatments working.) Haiden also seemed like a Little Einstein. Now that he was in preschool he started counting all the time and naming all his letters. By about 25 months of age, Haiden could count to 50, name all of his letters, and sing the alphabet backwards. Even though I was thrilled to see how intelligent my little guy was, I was still very concerned about his speech and approached our new pediatrican about my concerns. She gave me the information to First Steps. First Steps? What a great resource. Why didn't I know about this earlier? I was so upset that no one told me about this program. Haiden qualified for services and started Speech and Occupational Therapy once a week for an hour. Finally we were starting somewhere but I had no idea the long road ahead.
Monday, April 27, 2009
When Haiden was 23 months of age Brian proposed to me. It was a day I will never forget, it was perfect! About a month later Haiden and I moved to Indy with Brian and I accepted a teaching position in Zionsville. At the time I didn't realize that this move would change Haiden's life forever. The move was a huge change for me and I missed my mom like crazy, but I was so excited to finally be up here with Brian. Brian has always had a special connection with Haiden. He always understood him and became his dad without any hesitation. He also stopped me from enabling him so much. I found a new pediatrician and she sent us to an ENT, two weeks later Haiden had tubes in his ears. Our ENT told us that he probably wasn't talking clearly because he hasn't ever had normal hearing. He said within 6 weeks we should notice a change. Haiden also started going to a daycare and was in a very structured class with other kids his age. We did start to see a change. Haiden started to talk more and his cold that he had for the past year was gone. Things were looking more positive for Haiden but that was all about to change.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
At about 20 months of age Haiden seemed to interact with us more. I started to understand that "uh" meant he was hungry and "eh" meant he was thirsty. He still said mama, bye, and bob (drink). He would communicate with me by pointing at things and I did everything for him. He loved classical music (which I thought was great) and he would line up his toys (which at the time I didn't see as unusual). He continued to battle ear infections, colds, and bowel issues. I continued to voice my concerns to his doctor and was told over and over again, "Haiden is doing fine, give him more time." After all Haiden seemed like a very happy child. I told myself I was just a worry wart even though I continued to have a gut feeling that something wasn't right. Again my motherly instinct was trying to talk to me but I hadn't learned to listen.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
When Haiden was 13 months old Brian and I started "talking". If you would of told me I was going to fall in love and marry Brian McKinney, I would of told you, that's crazy. During this time I was teaching a self contained special education class with students who had emotionally and behavioral disorders. I was also coaching the local age group swim team. Haiden continued to be sick a lot, have stomach problems, and very little progress with his speech. Our doctor kept telling me, "he is fine". I kept thinking things will get better, Haiden's health will improve, he will start talking more. He attended a home day care so there wasn't a structured routine to follow and he didn't have to communicate with his words. We were out of the house by 6 am every morning and didn't get home until 8:00 at night. Most nights he went to my mom's while I coached. I was so busy trying to provide for Haiden financial that I neglected his emotional needs. I missed even more warning signs that things weren't getting better and I still didn't follow my instinct.
Friday, April 24, 2009
Haiden's first year of life was pretty crazy. He was always sick (ear infections, colds), didn't sleep well, and had several bowel issues. As a new, single mom I did what the doctors told me, I trusted them. Physically, Haiden was meeting all of his milestones. At about 12 months of age he had 3 words (mama, bye, and bob which meant bottle). I thought he was doing great. At about 13 months Haiden seemed to slip away from me. He didn't respond to my voice on a consistent basis, he wanted to play with the same toys over and over again, his babbling seemed to stop, and he cried a lot. He continued to always be sick, had poor sleep patterns, and constant belly trouble. When I confronted his doctor about my concerns I was told, "most children have 12-13 colds in their first year of life, we'll treat him with antibiotics for 12 weeks before we decide if he needs tubes in his ears, here is a prescription for a laxative to help with his bowel problems, and most boys are late talkers." Again, he was the doctor, I trusted him. During this period I had a horrible feeling in my stomach that something wasn't right. Over and over I pushed that feeling aside, trying to ignore it. Now I know what that was. It is the greatest gift God gave a woman, it is my instinct.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Before I share Haiden's "road to recovery" I feel I should make some things clear. I am not anti-vaccine. I am anti-unsafe vaccines and anti-30 vaccines by the time our children are 3 years old. I do feel that Haiden has a genetic component that made him more prone to autism and vaccines and other environmental toxins caused his autism. At 24 hours old Haiden received the Hep B vaccine ( a dose high enough for a 200lb. man). At 2 months Haiden received 5 vaccines at one doctors visit. Again at 6, 8, and 12 months he received 5 vaccines at one time. So by the time he was 12 months old he had 21 vaccinations! Not only is that a lot of vaccines in one year but have you seen the ingredients in these things? If you go to the CDC's website here are a few you will find: formaldehyde, aluminum, MSG, and antifreeze. The one thing the CDC does not report is that 13 of our current vaccines are cultured on aborted fetal tissue. Thank goodness I stopped vaccinating at 15 months!
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
I've decided to start blogging because I have so much to share! I have 2 amazing kids and our oldest, Haiden, has been through so much in his 5 years of life that I could write a book. He is currently recovering from autism and I feel compelled to share his story in order to help save other children. I also want other parents to be able to share their stories.