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    Posted June 17, 2014 by
    Yakima, Washington
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Raising a special needs child

    This is My Love


    This is my story about My Lil Love, Vin. I have three wonderful, loving, beautiful children. My baby Vin is on The
    Spectrum. He was diagnosed in November 2013. This wasn't a shock to me, it was more of a relief. What crossed my mind was, WE can move forward and tackle this head on.
    I knew my son was different around 6 months. He wasn't reaching the milestones my daughter's had. No babbling noises, not sitting up, he wasn't responding to his named being called. I wasn't overtly concerned but as the months passed he wasn't talking. Went to the doctor and found out he had fluid in his ears. He had to have tubes. He had the tubes placed in his ears and his speech was stilled delayed. I knew, after all the research I had looked up I needed to bring up the possibility of my handsome, loving son having Autism. I brought it up and his doctor said it's looking like that there's a possibility he maybe on the Spectrum. My heart knew before the diagnosis even came that he is autistic. The not wanting to look others in the eye, the tip toe walking, the delayed speech...I knew.
    Let me gush about my son, Vin. He's a loving little boy. Everyone I come across takes a liking to him. His infectious smile. He has killer dimples that melt many hearts. He is smart. Actually in my eyes he's highly intelligent. He's very musically and mechanically inclined. He loves trains, cars, airplanes, running outside and getting dirty. My son definitely loves Me. He has my heart.
    Vin has come a long way since he had his tubes placed in his ears. He was in weekly In -Home speech therapy and occupational therapy. He had some wonderful therapist, Nancy Crenshaw, Melissa Van Troba and his occupational, Lynell. They helped him bloom into the wonderful little boy he has developed into. In the beginning he would have epic melt downs, throwing himself and crying where all I could do is try and soothe him. He wouldn't look anyone outside of me in the eyes. Through all of this I've wanted what's in his best interest. I have left my expectations of what I'd like out of therapy open. They'd ask me about what kind of outcomes or goals I'd like to set and in all honesty all I ever wanted was to hear him say, I Love You. I know by his actions he does but to hear it would be fabulous. The program he was in he aged out, they only keep children up until they turn 3. We go through Children's Village here in Yakima, WA. They have helped out tremendously through this journey that we are going on. Vin started school in September of 2013 before he even turned 3. With the schooling and therapy he has grown leaps and bounds. His teacher, Mrs. Ryan Stover and team at Hoover Elementary were always on the same page on how to help him to the of our ablities. I have told them in our meetings that I want him to be able to grow up and be a self sufficient, young man. What he learns now will help him down the road because I know there'll be a day where I won't be around to take care of him. Hopefull,y later rather than sooner.
    My Son has learned some sign and at school they were introducing a picture system to him. I look forward to the upcoming schoolyear and seeing what more can be drawn out of his personality.
    This has been a learning experience for me. I never thought when I was pregnant with him that he'd be a special needs child. I looked forward to all the milestones that I had w my daughter's. Most of those milestones came but at a delayed time. Sometimes people would look at me funny when he's having a public meltdown or when in the store we are cheering, YAY! With our hands waving in the air. I have seen that there's a stigma attached to being on the Spectrum. I've heard I'm sorry, like it's a loss or Will he ever be normal? As if he isn't. He's a happy, healthy, normal little boy.
    I've learned a lot about being a parent of a special needs child. No child's diagnosis is ever the same and they each child moves at their own pace. That every therapist and teacher unlocks a little bit more of Vin. I'm very thankful and grateful for each and every single one of them. It has definitely been a Village helping me with my son, Vin.
    I hope that some parents will read this and feel everything is going to be great. I want people to know it's not the end of the world once there's a diagnosis, it's only the beginning of a VERY special and wonderful journey.


    Oh yeah, I did hear My Love tell me I Love You. One November, before I left for work I told him, I love you and in a mumbling of words I heard him, I luhh youhh. It wasn't crystal clear but it was definitely said. I cried and at that moment I knew everything was going to be fantastic!


    Amanda Jean, proud Mom to Vin and two little ladies

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