I often wonder if writing about the highs and lows which have become our lives since the arrival of our third child will help others understand what life is really like for a family living with Autism. Help me and my family accept life with Autism and serve as a record of the childhood of one very remarkable, unique little boy.
The tiny victories which bring so much hope, the long hard battles which exhaust me and drive me to the darkest loneliest living hell, I will share them all.
I have decided to give blog writing a go.
We are a family of five, I am mum Vicki, Ian dad, Hamish 16, Alex 12 and Lachlan 7.
Lachlan was born 4/6/10 at 35 weeks. I was so relieved to here him cry in theatre that day, I was convinced during my pregnancy something was wrong. I had this nagging feeling; it just wouldn’t go away. I remember looking back that Lachlan grunted for the first hours of life, the only way to stop it was to pat his back firmly, we did this for hours, the advice we were given from midwives and doctors was our wee man was just adjusting to life on the outside, little did we know then Lachlan was to be the baby who rewrote all the books!
The early days were hard. It seems wrong to complain but I had a baby who slept, the problem was Lachlan slept too much, through baths, medical appointments, everything, he didn’t want to feed, threw up what milk was taken in, screamed when awake and when he passed wind the smell emptied the room. Finally after six weeks a severe tongue tie was picked up and clipped, milk protein allergy and lactose intolerance diagnosed and prescription formula was given. I couldn’t go on breast feeding as everything I ate seemed to upset Lachlan, his skin was raw on his face and bottom. Lachlan never smiled at six weeks, he was a floppy baby and we noticed he had two different sized pupils, we were referred to a paediatrician and the eye hospital.
The impact on us all was huge, we brought home a baby from the hospital and life has never settled back down! I remember clearly the health visitor coming to do a 12 week check and thinking I knew having 3 kids was going to be tough, why is it not getting easier? One of the kids actually asked if we could take Lachlan back!
Just when I was at the point of breaking, something magical happened, at last Lachlan stopped screaming and he smiled, the most beautiful gummy smile, suddenly everything became worth it again, I put the milestone delays down to the feeding issues and allergies, we all tried to settle down to family life.
As a mum I still had this nagging doubt something was just not quite right, the poor muscle tone, allergies and eye issues ate away at me, I asked so many for help, I had to accept their plausible explanations and carry on. Lachlan continued to meet his milestones late, with the exception of walking, standing on his head and climbing!
Lachlan from 9 months preferred to see the world upside down, perhaps the alarm bells should have rung then, head stands before walking?
Walking came at 16 months thanks to Hamish and Alex’s determination, it was and still is clumsy at times, I used to joke it was like a drunk John Wayne! Climbing came soon after, interestingly Lachlan can climb sheer walls almost effortlessly yet stairs are still at age 3 a nightmare.
I first asked for a speech therapy referral at around 16 months, I have been asked by so many if Lachlan babbled, I can only assume as I have no recollection of him doing so, that he didn’t, we were refused and told speech will come, at 20 months Lachlan said his first word, it filled me with fear, it broke my heart, it was said so sadly, I knew then I had been right all along, something was wrong with my beautiful wee man, Lachlan’s first word was goodbye, said as if he had been speaking for years, pronounced perfectly, how could something I wanted my boy to be able to do desperately hurt me so much?