- Posted April 3, 2009 by
My Three Sons
A tribute to my beautiful angels.
Hello everyone. I just wanted to put up a fresh post here concerning our children. While we have received some wonderful comments, we have also received some highly unpleasant ones. I know that we should probably ignore these comments but we cannot just stand by and ignore the fact that some people seem to think that we have produced three autistic children on purpose. We also cannot ignore being called selfish and ignorant and that we are nothing but a drain on the system. Maybe we should have posted our full story about the boys and if that is the case, the fault lies with us.
When Julian was born, we were overjoyed. My wife and I thought we could never have children due to complications which I will not go into. He was always the happiest baby, so full of light and joy. Everyone just gravitated toward him. When we discovered that we were expecting Marcus, we were over the moon. We made a huge move across the country because I had landed a much better job. Everything was looking very good for us and we were very happy.
Due to complications, Marcus was born two months premature. He was only about 4 pounds and we were terrified. He was the strongest little guy though. He seemed to be just fine. We had this wonderful little family and we were so grateful for it. We truly felt blessed. We did not plan on having any more children but God had other plans for us.
Aric was a complete surprise. My wife was about six months along when we started to notice that there was something definitely off about both Julian and Marcus. We couldn't put our finger on it and we were worried. Julian was the most worrisome, I would say. He metamorphosed from an extremely happy child to a child who could not communicate with us and he became extremely violent. It was a very bad time for us. Marcus was the complete opposite. Even though his growth rate was fine, he still behaved like a tiny baby. I myself was premature and I was also slow to develop as a baby and toddler. When I was born, I weighed only 1.7 pounds. We reassured each other constantly that that was the case.
Things were steadily becoming worse. One day, out of the blue, Marcus started screaming and he has never stopped. We were utterly horrified and we had absolutely no idea what to do. Marcus would scream all day long and Julian was the most violent individual we had ever even imagined. We were very scared about bringing a brand new baby home from the hospital. How would Julian and Marcus react? Would our new baby be safe? There were many questions without answers.
At the end of my wife's pregnancy, it was time for Julian to start preschool. Connecticut state law requires all children to be evaluated before they can start school. Without any warning or fanfare, the nightmare began.
We went as a family to Julian's screening, not knowing what to expect. We came early and filled out the necessary paperwork. The school already understood that Julian had some problems and they paid very close attention to him. His evaluation took about thirty minutes and we were told that there were some major red flags. He never noticed the other children and the Pre-K teachers felt that he needed alot more testing before he could enter the school as a student.
He underwent in depth testing from the Special Education teachers and the school psychologist. During one of these tests, my wife reported to me that the school actually had to call a "Code Yellow" over the intercom to ensure that the other children were safely in their classrooms while our son was leaving. He had tried to physically harm the staff several times and they were concerned about the safety of the other children.
During this time we were receiving in-home services for Marcus and we were completely blown away when both boys were diagnosed with Autism on the same day! We didn't know what Autism was. We hit up the Internet for as much information possible and within a few hours bewilderment turned into terror. We had no idea what the first step could possibly be. Also, the fact that it is formally called "Autism Spectrum Disorder", immediately made us realize that we would be battling not one, but two forms of autism.
Baby Aric had already made his entrance into the world and we were ever vigilant. When Julian and Marcus were diagnosed he was about three months old. He was born a month premature but he seemed okay until he was about six months old. He suddenly lost eye contact with us and we had to work very hard on a daily basis to re-establish this. He was also rocking furiously and hand-flapping. We already knew what was happening. He is now fourteen months old and his rocking and hand-flapping are still present. He does not say any intelligible words yet. He seldom babbles but it is getting better.
We are in the process of his evaluations. The in-home specialists who came to our home for Marcus five days a week for a year were concerned about Aric right away. Once again, we heard "major red flags". He is also highly sensitive to sound. The sound of other people's voices, other than his family, make him scream. The vacuum cleaner, however, will send him into a fit of rocking. It is almost like the noise is soothing to him.
At this point, Julian is doing very well in preschool. We are so happy about this. His teachers are wonderful people and we are very grateful for them. Marcus has recently started preschool but he is having a very hard time. We hope that this will change in the future but we also understand that he may need home-schooling for awhile.
We are all taking it day by day. There is still much to learn and much to try. Yes, life has thrown us a major curveball but we would not trade these beautiful boys for anything on earth. The love and joy that they exhibit toward us every day is simply breathtaking. We are beyond honored to be their parents.