Sunday, July 29, 2012

How it all started...

I'm not sure how to start this, I've never had a blog before. I guess an introduction in to who we are and why we are here. I am Shauna, and this is going to be my family's story about our journey in Autism.

To get to where we are now, I guess you will need a little back story. Erik and I were high school sweet hearts <3 we started dating my senior year and quickly found our self's getting serious. We have been together since January of 2006  On 11/5/09 we welcomed our baby boy Andrew Marshall in to the world. He was 8lbs 5.6oz of beauty.  On May 19th 2012 Erik and I finally tied the knot, and most importantly, we all finally have the same last name! lol

My pregnancy, labor and delivery of Andrew were NOT easy, but I will talk about that more one day.

He was about 4 hours old in this picture <3

When Andrew was an baby he was advanced in everything. No, I'm not just saying that as his Mom either, I promise. He rolled over at 3 weeks, sat up at 4 months, crawled at 5 months and walked at 9 months. At 10 months he started identifying mama and daddy to Erik and my self, He would call out for my moms cat, Ginger. By the time he was 18 months he was talking in 3 and 4 word sentences and had about 20 signs! He knew his colors, all of his animal sounds and his ABC's.We were told buy our Dr's and by this program that we participated in called Parents as Teachers, to prepare for a gifted child and to NEVER compare any future child to him because this is NOT normal. Lol... Little did we know!

He pulled him self up in his crib at 6 months old.

At 7 months Andrew started having what looked like seizures. Our family Dr. referred us to a pediatric neurologist. Dr. Edgar ordered an EEG and then 2 weeks later we went in to the office for the results. I ended up having to go by me self because Erik got called in to work. It started out with good news. Andrew didn't have seizures, he was NOT epileptic. Dr. Edgar, upon viewing his EEG and a video that I had of Andrew during an episode. He diagnosed him with Benign Infantile Stereotipi Spasms. When a person has a seizure it scrambles their who brain, when a child with this disorder has a spasm it focal points on one part of his brain. LUCKILY for us Dr. Edgar was also an Autism specialist. He went on to tell me that out of the children who has these spasms about 60% go on to develop Autism and that with Erik's family history of it he was thinking that Andrew had about an 80% chance.

He ALWAYS has a smile on his face :)

This was his second EEG, I don't have pictures of his first.

One morning when Andrew was about 20 months old, he woke up and it was like he was a completely different child. (This was the morning after his shots, but I will get in to our beliefs on that in future pots as well) He would not talk or sign, at all. He would not make eye contact with us. It took all of our power and my knowledge as an Autism therapist to get him to engage, he was STUCK on lining things up and spinning wheels. I knew right away that something was wrong. Soon after he quit sleeping, He was going on day four with 20 minuet cat naps about three times a day when I finally gave in and called our Dr. Our normal Dr. was out of town so they had us see a nurse practitioner. When she came in Andrew was in a full melt down. He was screaming, banding his head on the door and stomping his feet. The NP asked me what was *I* though was wrong. I said " I think he is on the Autism spectrum" She told me that he was 2, There is NOTHING wrong with him.

See on the train table right behind him? See all of the various wheeled things in order by size? YES - he did that on his own.

We would find this all over our house

He is also obsessed with Thomas the Train :)

At this point I was crying; I was telling her all of the symptoms he was having. How he had regresses, was seeing visual stim and how he was seeking gross motor pressure. How he would throw tantrums for 45 minuets at a time. Finally, she started taking some notes and told me that she would give this information to Dr. Spencer. about 4 hours later we got a call from his office telling us that Dr. Spencer made us an apt at The Lily Center in Brookfield, WI. We went on September of 2011.

This is just the beginning of our crazy journey. I will post another post about what has take place for us since the Lily Center.

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