I felt we were on the up, we had survived Lachlan’s first year, surely at last as a family we would find some kind of normality and routine?
If only it were that easy, the struggles continued I now know that in all areas of development with the exception of gross motor skills Lachlan was struggling and lagging behind back then I just saw it as a lot of quirks to battle on with.
Lachlan was stuck on smooth puréed food we managed to reintroduce soya but every time we tried to introduce lumps Lachlan would retch and throw up, then go days without eating even the food he was used too, touching finger foods and new strong smells provoked the same reaction, as a baby Lachlan hardly put anything in his mouth, he seemed at a loss as what to do with finger foods. Lachlan slipped back into the pattern of endless infections and illness some requiring hospital treatment, we were advised by GP, Health Visitor, Dietician and Paediatrician to cut down Lachlan’s milk and fluid intake to encourage him to eat and I was meant to be reassured that in theory Lachlan wouldn’t starve himself. We were invited in amongst it all for more vaccinations, one being the MMR this was partly because Lachlan was never well enough and partly because no one could assure me he would not have a similar reaction to the baby ones, we felt it too much to put Lachlan through, my gut instinct screamed no more for now.
Lachlan walked at 18 months and was so very proud of his wee self, how he beamed from ear to ear, now I know that all toddlers wobble but Lachlan was dangerously unstable on his feet and shoes made it worse as when wearing shoes he would high step which looked very bizarre, there were many falls, hills and uneven surfaces even now are tricky for Lachlan and stairs a complete disaster, again we were told it was just Lachlan finding his way.
We moved house when Lachlan was around 18 months and he hated our new home, it was then that I really started to fight the professionals caring for my son for answers, the poor wee mite screamed for days, spent hours pacing back in forth in the hall, when not pacing Lachlan would be found standing on his head usually watching TV. He hated his toys, he slept even worse than usual, refused food more than ever, seemed terrified of everyone and everything new, then came the throwing himself to the floor and hammering his head off the floor, over and over for increasingly longer periods of time he had a permanent bruise on his forehead, speech was still limited to “Goodbye” which was repeated in a heartbreakingly sad little voice from getting up in the morning until bedtime. The only time Lachlan was happy during those awful days was when he had my PC to play with, he was amazing with it even at 18 months, but that story is for another day.
We felt so alone, no one seemed to know what to do to help, I couldn’t leave Lachlan with anyone so we never got a break poor Hamish and Alex had to put up with so much yet never complained, even the grandparents were screamed at.
In time Lachlan settled in the new house to a point, he slowly screamed less, the other behaviours reminded for a long time to come. We started to have better days again.
We persevered with the suggestion of less milk and fluids, Lachlan was loosing weight, he did in time take thicker and slightly lumpy food but would only eat a tiny amount, I actually hate the photos from Lachlan’s second Birthday as he was so painfully thin, in the bath he looked like a bag of bones, his tummy was so upset all the time he had constant smelly diarrhoea. We saw the paediatrician just before Lachlan’s 2nd Birthday, it was suggested we take soya back out and reintroduce as much prescription milk as Lachlan wanted, although initially fine with soya it was a delayed reaction, 2 weeks on antihistamines and as much milk as he could put away Lachlan was a much happier little boy. It was at this appointment it was also agreed Lachlan needed further assessments. I honestly think the paediatrician knew that day in June 2012 a year before Lachlan finally had his Autism assessment that Lachlan was Autistic. I still thought he just had speech problems and was a little behind. This was the first real admission we had from anyone that things were not as they should be. I hoped, prayed and wished the impending assesment would show nothing to worry about or nothing that couldn’t be fixed, I still had the uneasy nagging feeling I had had since pregnancy, I didn’t want to be right.
Learning to walk
On Lachlan’s second Birthday
With big brother Hamish and sister Alex