Monday, January 26, 2015


Jacob covers his ears like this a lot because sounds can overwhelm him
A year ago I was given a lot of forms to fill out for Jacob and even had an interview with a child psychologist about him. Since Jacob had turned 5 and was starting kindergarten in the fall, we were having him evaluated to determine if he is on the autism spectrum or not. We were scheduled for a meeting the week before the kids were on spring break (so during my spring break) to go over all the results.

At first I was going to go to the IEP (Individual Education Plan) meeting by myself like I usually do, but then I decided that Justin needed to come with me.

While we had been assuming for a little while that Jacob had an autism spectrum disorder, it was still a little rough to go through all the things that make your child different, still a little rough to discuss all the things that your child does that aren't necessarily considered "normal" or "typical", and still a little rough to officially be given an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis.

I think that anytime your child does something annoying or that you don't want them to do, you try to teach them to not do whatever the habit is. With Jacob, he is constantly doing the things we try to get him not to do whether it be to play in the kitchen sink, spit just because he likes to watch it fly through the air, scream and throw a fit because something is on TV that he doesn't want to watch (even if it is something that he used to love to watch), etc, etc.

Part of what was upsetting for me was that although I never really believed that he would one day just outgrow a lot of the weird, quirky things he does was realizing that it is going to take more work than I ever imagined to get him to function "correctly" in society. That's a difficult thing to come to terms with. And I hear from people all the time that they have the same struggles with their kids - but I hear these things all the time from people whose children do not have a developmental or behavioral problem which means our struggles trying to teach our children are no where close to each other which honestly just makes it that much more difficult to deal with on an emotional level.

And even though I know not to expect from Jacob what most people expect from their 5 or 6 year old, sometimes it is hard to deal with. The other day I saw a 3 or 4 year old having a discussion with an adult saying "if I pout, Daddy says I can't play". Wow - I feel like I can only dream of my child understanding a concept like that.