In July of 2010 we found out we would be parents in a few short months, and in October of that year we found out that we would be welcoming a MiniMan into our family. In November that year we also started our journey with a high risk pregnancy and pregnancy complications. I was placed on bedrest, and we were travelling back and forth from a somewhat local children’s hospital for treatment and monitoring. Thankfully we were able to stay pregnant until January, and even through MiniMan was born 8 weeks early, he was a ‘big’ 32-weeker and we were able to avoid a lot of the preemie complications. After some time in the Neonatal ICU, we became MiniMan’s full time care givers.
MiniMan’s first few years were pretty typical. We didn’t start to see any ASD tendencies that were concerning until he was closer to 3. When we transitioned to a child care center in preparation for him starting Junior Kindergarten, we started to see separation anxiety, as well as some sensory processing issues. We started working with our childcare center, and then brought in our local pediatric therapy center, and after some work we got some of our sensory processing issues under control. We also started to see what was part of his SPD, and what was something more than that. We set up an appointment with our pediatrician, and in June of 2015 MiniMan was given a diagnosis as a High Functioning Autistic Child. Think a mini version of Sheldon Cooper from Big Bang Theory.
In the time since his diagnosis, we have spent a lot of time working with an occupational therapist, and some amazing programs.
Another piece of MiniMan’s puzzle is his hearing loss. We actually didn’t know that he has hearing loss until he was almost 5 years old. Because of his high intelligence and his ability to read lips, he hid his hearing loss from us for a long time. After quite a few severe ear infections, and getting tubes put in his ears, our ENT came up to us with the fact that MiniMan has severe hearing loss in both ears. And as perfect as it seems, he is unable to hear the frequencies where my voice lives, so he is literally deaf to my voice. That was a great revelation! So in January 2016, a few weeks before his 5th birthday, we received his hearing aids, and the responsibility to help him figure out life with a new range of hearing.