Our beautiful little Lachy was born 31 October, 2013. His pregnancy was uneventful, apart from the 17 weeks of morning sickness which was pretty normal for me. He decided to come into this world a bit earlier than scheduled, but nothing to count him in any danger zone, and his birth weight was a nice average 7 pound. When considering the labour and delivery, it was an absolute dream birth in comparison to his brothers, and both mum and hub were doing considerably well.
Lachy’s development appeared ‘normal’, he crawled better than his older brother, and he fed quite well. However, we did notice that he had small tremors in his hands and would shake at times. He was a bit clumsy with his hands and would drop things and would trip over quite often. His speech started out ok, but was not as clear as his older brother, and he had ‘melt downs’.
Lachy was always particularly attached to me, but would be as equally comfortable around family members. He would occasionally ignore or shut out his father (for no particular reason that we were conscious of).We did notice when we went out Lachy would scream at people who came to talk to us, or who acknowledged him. He would even scream at people he knew and it was always a struggle to get him to be courteous to people. At times we were unsure what to do with him as not only were his tantrums uncomfortable for us, but for other patrons. We always encouraged him to communicate and placed him in time out to calm down. Thankfully, we were greeted with understanding and sympathy.
Being concerned about his speech, his nasally sounds, constant throat infections, and other behaviours we decided to investigate every possible avenue to help him, and to determine what may have been wrong with him. After realising Lachy was developing special stims in certain situations, coupled with his history we decided to tackle the gambit of medical assistance.
We went to:
- ENT’s, (had adenoids out)
- Immunologists (allergy to dairy)
- Hearing Specialists – hearing tests (normal).
- Still concerned with his development (and despite reassurances from friends and family) I decided to tackle his needs by going to a Speech Pathologist to have his speech tested. This was the catalyst for a number of reasons. Firstly, the testing (although slightly flawed) confirmed my concerns in his receptive language which was proven to be severely delayed. Amongst other findings of this assessment, it was here my concerns became a reality.
- Next on the list was to tackle his motor issues, and that was achieved with an Occupational Therapy assessment which indicated his delayed levels in various areas of his motor and neural performance.
So what did this mean……..well the diagnosing visit to the Paediatrician had me in tears. Even though I knew what was coming, I still broke down. I have known since he was about 16 months, that Lachy may have been Autistic. I shared my concerns with family and friends, who all reassured me that he was fine, and that he will develop and to just give him time. I knew through experience in education that time was ticking by quickly and that our little man could get ‘left behind’ if we didn’t do something to help him now. I knew from experience that early intervention was the only way Lachy was going to get the best start in life. The label of Autism knocked me into sadness and helplessness as I worried about his daily life and his future. I both knew and didn’t know what I needed to do to help him. But this was just the start we needed.
The assistance we have been given by Autism Queensland has been my saviour. We are lucky to receive FASIA funding to support him in his therapies (which are making a big change to his development) and without, I don’t think we would be able to afford to do what we are currently doing with him. We are blessed that our Speech Therapist is a joy to work with and that Lachy adores her. We are also blessed to have been referred to our wonderful Occupational Therapist, who has started her work in assisting Lachy’s development in a number of areas.
So, where to from here? I continue to place my boys first in the rung of life. Why? Because they are our future. They deserve to be given the very best shot in life, and we are prepared to do just that. So, his weeks consist of:
- Speech Therapy once a week
- Occupational Therapy once a week
- Little Kickers soccer skills once a week
- Swimming lessons once a week
- Day care incorporating social skills and pre prep skills 3 times a week
- SSP with mummy at home to work on phonemic awareness skills, fine motor, coordination, reading etc.
Lachy is a bright, intelligent and delightful little boy, he is the glue in our little family. He is passionate, caring and inquisitive. He is loving and is loved.
I hope this story gives others hope and an insight into never giving up, believing in your instincts and by making the most of what you have every day.