Learning Something New Everyday

Autism

I am so ever grateful for all that has been accomplished these last 6 months. I look back and realize how far we have come although there are still some things I wish we could make better. I’ve realized that my anxiety still plays a part in my life which can be quite unhealthy for my children as well. We have already gone through enough as a family and I wouldn’t dare put no more on them than I feel we could handle. I have even gotten so accustomed to what works out best for Harmonee that I don’t even make decisions to do things if I don’t feel like it will be a smooth experience. Anxiety runs through our blood. I’ve had anxiety my entire life. Ever since the first day I stepped outside of my home after my eye injury (age 5 years old) I’ve had anxiety, which turned into fear, which turned into insecurity, and ended with bipolar depression. I was also diagnosed with ADHD around the same age which didn’t make it any better because I acted on impulsive behavior. Growing up, with all these known disorders and disabilities led to years of taking meds to control my body, thoughts, and actions. I took these meds all the way up until I found out I was 9 weeks pregnant with Harmonee. Pregnancy was absolutely normal! The day she was born, she showed me the signs then that she would be different. The pediatrician, at the time, told us she thinks her hip was out of place and told us to double diaper her until we could get an X-ray. I thought it was a crazy idea and I didn’t because it just looked uncomfortable to me. The X-ray came back good and they said she just might have outgrown it. Then when she was around 2-3 months old she started doing this thing with her head almost like her head favored tilting backward ( I know you are probably thinking, well she is still a newborn, so of course her head isn’t going to be strong) this was obvious to be unusual. Almost like her neck muscles were weak. Some of our friends would even ask why she did her head that way and we thought it was weird but we just brushed it off. Well I realized after reading so many articles last year that both of those signs, leg and hip weakness and the weird neck thing, could have been signs of hypotonia which is defined by muscle weakness and it plays a role in the Autism Spectrum Disorder. I’ve always noticed she had a special look in her eyes, almost like she would transfer into her own world, a gaze off kind of look and she still does.

 

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She gets caught up in the moment and just shuts the world out sometimes.

She would cry so easily and a lot more than my youngest has ever cried. It would take hours to calm her down some nights and we eventually learned that she gets easily overstimulated, as she still does. It was always hard to go places or do things with her because she would have crying spells from anxiety or just getting overstimulated so easily.

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This picture was taken at my graduation dinner in 2014 and she had cried so much that a near by stranger eating at the table next to us whispered to me “there’s just too many people handling that baby” it was almost hard to enjoy that evening.

I built anxiety and doing things alone with her, I always had to have someone or my husband with me because I felt I would need the help while handling business. We were 100% done with daycare by the time she turned 15 months old mainly because I couldn’t work consistently enough to make money for bills because she was either always getting sick or I felt that being at daycare around so many different people was too much for her. Every other day I would pick her up from daycare with a swollen face from crying so much. I felt it was best for both of us to just stay home. Then when 18 months came around, I started noticing how DIFFERENT she was from other kids her age. Not just the nonverbal cues, but the way she walked, the way she didn’t play with toys, the way she literally fought us when trying to feed her new foods, the way she would completely shut out the outside world or people that tried to speak and play with her, just a whole lot of abnormal behavior.

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After the diagnosis is when her sister finally started growing her own personality and it all started hitting me.

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Paidyn is truly something completely different from Harmonee, I thank God for Paidyn coming when she did because she levels the entire family out. Paidyn shows me everything that I never got a chance to see in Harmonee. They are such uniquely matched up sisters. Harmonee adores her baby sister, even though it took a while for her to get use to the new annoying noises she use to make as a brand new baby (very challenging first couple of months) she really shows me she pays attention and knows Paidyn is someone who belongs to her. I love it and wouldn’t change anything about how my life has transformed. I learn from the both of them everyday. I’m learning to control the level of anxiety in our lives for the sake of our mental stability and health. If I have to cancel any plans I don’t hesitate. My husband has been away on active duty for 6 months and I have learned so much about depending on others. I only want the best for my children and I feel like every opportunity they have to be a kid I want to make sure they are involved. Sometimes that’s not so easy, being a single parent is hard enough but with two it’s even more challenging. I’m always stressing about one missing out because the other would need more attention. I would try my best to keep them involved but if I didn’t have the extra help, I don’t go. I’ve recently learned not to depend on extra help to do things, because if my husband ever gets deployed I will be far away with little to no help on my own with them anyway. I had to put my big girl panties on and just learn how to keep praying for more time to spend with my children while they are still young. I also pray that God provides us those sentimental times together to outweigh the times we have missed. I also pray that God continues to work on taking anxiety out of our family and to break that generational curse of fear, insecurity and depression! I pray that God continues to heal our family and to give us strength every day for the sake of our purpose! I also pray the same for you as well!

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