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A Diagnosis 

Noah is just a few weeks away from turning 3. We recently had him evaluated for the Metro Nashville Public School preschool program. Talk about overwhelming…in the evaluation there was a Special Education teacher, a speech therapist, an occupational therapist, a developmental therapist and a child psychologist. They all had questions for me about Noah, his behaviors and development thus far. There was also lots of paper work and questionnaires I had to fill out about him. At first they just observed Noah playing alone. In typical Noah fashion he hummed a tune while lining up the cars, the people, the trucks, and then the pizza. Eventually they took him over to a table and asked him to do different tasks. The process took 2 hours but it felt like we were there all day. At the follow up appointment a couple weeks later we went over their findings and Noah was officially diagnosed with Autism. 

This is something that I knew was a possibility but hearing the official diagnosis is still overwhelming. When I first saw the diagnosis on paper my eyes welled up with tears and it was all I could do not to start sobbing right there in front of these ladies. I’m terrified of he unknown. What does the future look like for him. Will he be able to be in a “normal” class later. Will he catch up and ever be on track with other kiddos his own age. I try so hard not to compare him to others but it always creeps in the back of my mind.

The plan is for him to start school when he turns 3. He will go 5 days a week from 8-12. They stressed to me how good the structure of school will be for him. He will continue to receive therapy twice a week while at school in a small group. He will be placed into what they call a blended class. A blended class is made up of some children like Noah with special needs and a diagnosis like autism and the other half of the children will have no special needs or delays. This type of class will help Noah catch up developmentally and socially. 

I know that we are doing all we can to help him. They keep telling us how early intervention is key and I don’t know how much earlier we could have caught it. Of course this doesn’t change how much we love him. He’s still our precious little boy that we adore. Just trying to lay aside all of our worries and fears. I know that we are very lucky that he is happy and healthy. It could be much worse so I am thankful for all we do have. Just taking a moment to let it all sink in. 

~M 

    
    
    
    
   

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Progress

In March Noah started therapy. He is seeing a speech therapist for his speech delay and an occupational therapist for his sensory and development delays. He really likes both of his therapists. They are both so sweet and work great with him. Of course I wish I could say that we had instant success and that he is rambling on in sentences but it doesn’t work that way. I remind myself of that daily but he is making progress. Each week I see them challenge him with new activities and he does a great job adapting to new things and tries to do what is asked of him.

As a parent I still have lots of moments of feeling overwhelmed and sad. I love to hear his little voice and we cheer every time he says anything. He still only has a few words. He doesn’t say mama or mommy yet and that along with I love you are the things I want to hear the most. Some days I blame myself for not doing enough and think what can I do differently to help him. I just wish I had answers and wish I could do something more.

We are moving in June for Les to start her third year of medical school and to start clinical rotations. We are planning on starting Noah in a mother’s day out twice a week in August and it makes me a nervous wreck. I know it is a silly thing to worry over because I’m sure he’ll do fine but because he can’t talk I worry that the teachers wont know what needs. I’ve become an expert at knowing his little quirks and knowing when he’s thirsty, hungry, tired, wants his monkey, etc. But its time for him to be around other kiddos. I know it will be great for him and I’ll look back and think how silly I was to worry.

I just love that little boy soooo much. He has me wrapped around his finger.

I’ll leave you with a few recent pictures of our little guy ☺️