I spent part of my morning hunting down a single lab report of Christian’s from four years ago.  We were living in Florida at the time.  We never again saw the doctor who ordered that lab test.  I had received a phone call that the lab was negative, and that was that.  Thankfully, I think that I was finally directed to the correct department that actually holds that particular file.  Now, I will just wait to receive that report.

“A-day.”  Today.  Four years ago.  Christian was 21 months old.  I was 7 months pregnant with Liv.  I sat through four hours of interviews and watching Christian’s interactions between the developmental evaluators.  At the end they handed me a few pieces of paper containing information about autism and PDD-NOS (pervasive developmental disorder – not otherwise specified).  I was told that because of his age, they didn’t want to pin a specific “label” on him, but instead left it vague just saying that he had major developmental delays.  But the written reports that I received later said that Christian had significant signs of autism.  Yep, Christian had autism.

The doctor who was in this meeting told me to not even bother with a gluten & casein free diet.  It doesn’t work.  Everything good you hear about it is all in the parents’ heads…

…I’m glad that my gut didn’t fully believe her.  Christian has not been “cured” by diet, but it has certainly helped him be less aggressive, sleep better (yeah, it was worse before the diet change), and cut down on his need to constantly stim.  Diet can make a significant difference.

I left the developmental testing site without shedding a tear.  Actually, I wasn’t overly surprised to hear “autism” because I had been reading about it since September when the Christian we knew just slowly slipped away.

Brian was teaching at the time and wasn’t with us for the testing.  Christian and I stopped at his school on our way home.  (It was almost lunch.)  I walked into the secretary’s office and asked her if I could hang out for a couple minutes until lunch.  She agreed and then asked if I was OK…

…open the flood gates.  I could no longer keep the tears in.  Yes, the ugly cry was here.  I tried to explain through my sniffles what was going on, and she immediately told me that she’d go find Brian now.  She also convinced Brian’s principal that he needed to go home for the rest of the day, so that we could just deal with this new information.  I’m glad she did.  I think that we needed each other home that day as we started to contact family to let them know what was going on.

Therapies quickly followed — speech, behavioral, and finally occupational.

Thinking back, it doesn’t feel like “A-day” was four years ago.  But Christian is a fighter.  Oh, how far he’s come in four years!!!  🙂  He amazes me.

I’m also grateful to all the people who have helped Christian and/or our family over these last four years.  I appreciate, beyond words, all of your hard work, your determination, your friendship, your understanding, your love for Christian — without you, he/we would not be where we are today!!!