It’s a new year. It’s time to start a new blog. But where do I begin? Do I start at the VERY beginning, when I first heard Ryan’s heart beat and the doctor told me that I was pregnant? The sound was a miracle. I had been trying to get pregnant for too long. My husband and I thought we wouldn’t have children. Do I start at the first indication that something was wrong? Ryan was not sitting up when he was supposed to. The pediatrican told us that Ryan was a “floppy” baby and sent us to a neurologist who confirmed that Ryan had low muscle tone. Or do I begin when Ryan was first diagnosed with autism at 3 years old? My husband and I were surprised, not believing, yet relieved at the same time.
There’s a lot to catch you up on. A lot has happened these past seven years. But there’s no better time than the present. So I’ll begin with now. Currently, my husband and I have a bright, curious first grader on the high functioning end of the autism spectrum whose mind never slows down. He loves school, and doesn’t wonder why he spends part of his day in a special needs class and not that whole day in his typical, mainstreamed class like the rest of the children. He doesn’t seem to notice that his brain works in a different way than his typical peers. He steps off the bus with a smile on his face, proud that he can now handle the sensory overload of the special needs bus that drops him off at the front of our house. On Mondays, he eats a snack after school, then works till 5:30 p.m. with his ABA therapist. His Tuesdays and Fridays are exactly the same as his Mondays. On Wednesdays, he has occupational therapy after school. He has ABA Therapy for three hours on the weekend. He’s the hardest working boy I know.
But he’s happy. Except when he sits in a restaurant that has music playing and a TV on at the same time, loud voices talking over beeps and clanks coming from the kitchen, and bright overhead lights. Then he’ll sit with his eyes looking down and hands on his ears, an unhappy frown on his face. Yet he’s starting to smile when we go to Wal-Mart. He loves to eat at Chic-fil-a where the lights aren’t as bright and the music is calming.
Ryan wants to be an astronaut when he grows up. He wants to know why we can’t book a flight to the moon like we book a flight to his grandparents’ houses. He’s shooting for the moon. And you know, it’s not totally unbelievable that he’ll get there some day!