My son Skyler was diagnosed with Autism on December 9th of last year. It was a surreal day for me as all the years of his life came streaming through my mind. I have five children and he always stuck out like a sore thumb. I remember one of my friends say to me "what is wrong with him?" I had no idea what was wrong with him and so I blamed myself for not raising him right, for not disciplining him enough, and for maybe spoiling him to much even though I knew in the back of my mind that I had not treated him any different then any of my other children. The biggest difference I noticed right off the bat with Skyler was that he was repulsed by food. He never really ate table food as a baby. He went from breast milk to formula and then finally to cows milk and then everything came to a halt. Over the years his diet did expand to include peanut butter and honey sandwiches (made a specific way), milk and finally when he was a little older (about six) he would sometimes eat chicken nuggets from Chick Fil A. There was a short period of time I could get him to eat "Great Value" brand vanilla yogurt from Walmart but that has since been discarded and he wont touch it. All the growing he has done is from a small handful of foods.
The food issue was a BIG problem. Over the short eight years of his life I have tried everything to get him to eat. I have nearly pulled my hair out trying to MAKE him eat what I cook but he will literally starve himself for three days (and he has gone three days without eating) rejecting the food I give him because it wasnt his "safe" foods. People are not very kind when they see how Skyler acts. They say things like "if he were my kid he wouldn't act like that" or "give him to me for two weeks and I will get him to eat," or my favorite "If he had a father figure in his life he probably wouldn't act like this." While I appreciate that they were probably trying to help, it was no help at all and it just caused me to feel like I was failing as a parent and I most certainly wasnt doing a good job with him. Just this year I have finally decided not to make the food problem an issue. If my son feels comfortable with eating peanut butter and honey sandwiches every day for the rest of his life then I just am going to accept it. I feel like there are so many more important things to bring into alignment when it comes to Skyler then the food issue.
When I was finally able to find a doctor to tell me what was different about Skyler I was able to breath a sigh of relief. I had a name....a reason for his "differences" and I could start getting him the help he needed. One other benefit that Skylers diagnosis offered me was that I could stop feeling guilty. For so many years I was told that I was doing it all wrong with Skyler. The guilt and pressure was literally making my hair fall out. It was so stressful. December 9th, 2013 was a great day for me. I will call it D-day (diagnosis day) for Skyler.
To be continued.....