Happily, and out of the mist, we go…

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Seems like I’ve been trying to write this post in my head for so long, I’ve completely lost track of how to start and where to go. But I’ve been very sporadic in this space for what seems like months now and I think everyone deserves an explanation and anyway, since the direction of this blog might change a bit from now on, it’s only fair I catch you all up.

For those of you who have been sharing this space with me for a while, you’ll remember a while back, I shared about my son failing his first hearing test. The support and encouragement I received from all of you was beyond anything anyone could imagine and once again, I want to thank you all for it. Back in February, it had been established that since he was so young and some tests hadn’t been performed successfully, he would need to come back in 6 months to confirm the results.

As we were waiting for that time, it was suggested that we start working with a speech therapist to start stimulating his language acquisition (my son does not speak yet for those who did not know) and through her evaluation, she was able to detect red flags that she suggested we consult a pediatrician for.

Well, I’ll spare you the whole chain of events but it basically went like this : in-home speech therapist evaluation, pediatrician, allergy testing (negative for all food groups, though we are still under investigation for food sensitivities. So far we have eliminated dairy and gluten), specialized educator assessment, in-home observation sessions, pediatric psych evaluation, occupational therapy assessment, follow-up hearing test (which he passed with flying colors – NO DEAFNESS – YAY!), multidisciplinary discussion table and diagnosis : Sensory Processing Disorder with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Now, I can feel hearts breaking already and I want to say PLEASE! Don’t feel sad for us, we are really okay. Feels good to have answers and to move forward finally. They had to put the autism label on because too many red flags were popping up. But they are pushing the therapy for the SPD a lot more. He is still so young, they can’t say yet if the red flags are caused by the SPD or independent of it. We have started occupational therapy and have seen SUCH a huge difference in just a few weeks. Making simple little adjustments to meet his sensory needs has had a major impact. In just a few weeks, our Little Man has started eating with utensils, following simple commands, making a few sign language words with his hands, pointing at stuff he wants…. He can sit with us and draw for a few minutes now, he has cut in about half his need for chewing everything. Just last night, he sat through an entire book (a big book) with his dad and sister without even trying to wiggle out of the seat once and even pointing at a few images when prompted. They are so confidant that we will be able to amazing things with him since they’ve caught it so early.

In the end though, autism and sensory processing disorder are not diseases. He is a perfectly happy and healthy boy. We just have to learn to work with his brain and the special connections it makes. Most of the red flags were cognitive and communication. I don’t want you to worry about him being violent, self-mutilating, aggressive, fitful… he is super sociable, loves people, loves to run around a play, smiles all the time. He is not afraid of strangers (he’s just not a hugger, but many 2 year olds are not huggers, we don’t think that is autism. LOL!) He does have a few repetitive behaviors, but they are funny quirky ones like pulling on strings and standing on his head. 🙂 No head banging or anything like that. He’s also very adaptable : He’ll eat anything, sleep anywhere. He’s not a slave to a routine. He’s also wicked smart : A few months ago, he pulled apart my dad’s flashlight and was able to put it back together without anyone’s help. I’ve had people look at me and say “he doesn’t look like he has autism” and that always makes me laugh.
So there you go. Life just got REALLY interesting. We have been busy planning the set up of a new sensory gym for him (and all of us really) in our living room. My husband will be building him a scooter board and a platform swing (for which he will share his plans here soon). And for me, well now that you all know, I’ll feel freer to share our daily rhythms as they unfold. Please ask questions if you have them! If there is one thing we’ve realized during these last few months, it’s that people have a very skewed idea of autism and most people don’t even know about sensory processing, let alone sensory processing disorder. There are no silly questions, so fire away!
Wishing you all  a wonderful week. Be grateful for health and happiness, they are truly a blessing. Everything else is a path designed for you to walk on and learn from. All life is beautiful if you just let it be so.
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About Yanic A.

Hello to all of you and thank you for stopping by! My name is Yanic. I'm a wife to a wonderful husband, a mother of 2 beautifully complex and unique children and a lover of all things inspiring. Having started a personal journey of self discovery when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter 4 years ago, I've since embraced a daily life of simpler pleasures and gratitude. As we get to know each other, you will know me as a quilter, a gardener, a Tao cultivator, a vegetarian foodie, a true believer in a healthy family life as being the secret to my happiness and hopefully as time goes on, a friend... I will try to share with you my days as they unfold, speaking of my happy successes without censoring my challenges, trying to make this blog a true portrait of the ever-changing path that I have chosen for myself. I'm hoping to find in these pages others to share with and learn from, bringing to light the absolute connection in all things and people, showing this world as being a true community.
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40 Responses to Happily, and out of the mist, we go…

  1. arlene says:

    Thanks for sharing this. Very true, health and happiness are great blessings in life. Kisses to your little man. Blessings always!

    Like

  2. Warm wishes for all of you on this journey. You sound sunny and confident, which is wonderful. I expect every moment is not that way, that perhaps sometimes the different demands are exhausting and frustrating. Sometimes maybe you feel cross and resentful and sad. ALL of that is okay. Acknowledge it and accept it and go on, right? What choice is there? Sending you hugs, peace, and blessings.

    Like

    • Yanic A. says:

      Thank you…
      And you are right : No choice really, just living in the moment and enjoying the life we have. It is strange, but now that we know, there have been nothing but happy changes in our home. So really, all this feels like a good thing. I’m sure there will be lots of bumps in the road, but for now, I feel better equipped and happier on the way. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Carie says:

    Well hurrah for answers because they give you something to work with and open the doors to the other things that might help. It sounds like you’ve got a great team in place and it’s wonderful that he’s making so much progress already 🙂

    Like

    • Yanic A. says:

      Thank you Carie… We are very lucky. We will officially be falling “in between teams” in 10 days. Our file will be transfered to a more intensive therapy group, but the transfer will happen over the next 4-6 weeks. But they have given us so much work to do with him that our days will be full and the end of November will be here before we know it! After the summr we’ve had, I won’t lie, the break will be nice.

      Like

  4. mirari says:

    children can learn so fast and so fine at a soon age… and with the good answers, now you can find for what’s better for him.

    Like

  5. Jennifer says:

    Can I just say that I’m not sorry? I think that could be a hurtful thing to say, actually, but that’s just my opinion. He is a beautiful and healthy child and he will probably always learn and grow in his own special way but that is not something to be sad about. I am sure he will do very well. There are many ways in which his development may surprise you as he grows, for better or worse, but you have his best interests at heart and I know he will thrive with your help and help from his therapists.

    Like

    • Yanic A. says:

      You can absolutely say that you are not sorry because we aren’t. He surprises me every day. Just the other day, my daughter was trying to balance a book on her head while walking. After several tries, she decided to give it a rest and he picked up the book and walked with it on his head for bout 10 paces in the first try. He is a wonderful treasure chest just waiting to be popped open! I’m excited for the future and we will all (as a family) be better for it because he is here and he is who he is.

      Like

  6. KerryCan says:

    Hard to know how to respond to this, Yanic! I can’t hit the “like” button because that doesn’t seem quite right, to like the fact that your little guy has gone through so much. On the other hand, I can’t feel bad for you since you so obviously are not pitying yourself in any way! I do know that he is SUPER lucky to have such sensible, loving parents!

    Like

    • Yanic A. says:

      You are very kind Kerry thank you.

      Haha! never really thought of it that way. I’m thinking people are pressing “like” more about the fact that we are all good with everything and that he is a champion of a Little Man. And funny enough, he didn’t seem affected in the least : every new therapist was greeted with high-5s and all he knew is that week after week, he was going to these amazing sencory labs and rooms filled to the brim with indoor gyms and toys. Come home, eat like a piggy and crash for 3 hour naps. I honestly think it was a lot more of a stress on mom and dad. But as with every test we are put through, we only come out stronger.

      Like

  7. Carlin says:

    Thanks for sharing, I truly do enjoy hearing what is going on with you. I’m glad you are making progress and feeling good about it. Several of my friends have a child on the spectrum, and so many of them are doing great – and none of them fit into the skewed and general view that people sometimes have of what it means to be on the spectrum. Oh, and I’m looking forward to seeing this sensory gym – very cool!

    Like

    • Yanic A. says:

      Thank you for taking the time to share as well.

      I will share lots of pictures of the gym I promise. We are pretty excited about it too. One thing I’ve realized as I’ve been reading more about sensory processing is that my daughter has little parts of her senses that could benefit from a bit of stimulation as well. So really, more fun for everyone. 🙂

      I’m still trying to wrap my brain around “looking like you have autism”. But I guess I should be happy my son looks ‘normal’ LOL! Whatever that means. But like with everything, mny rely on TV and the news for information and they do tend to always show the worse. Maybe that is what they mean when they say it. 🙂

      Like

  8. It has been quite a journey for you these past few months. You are amazing parents with all you have done for your son over the last year. I am sure that over the coming years you will have many ups and downs on your journey just like all parents except that yours may different, but aren’t they different for all parents?

    I have worked with many autistic children over the years and from what I have seen they are varied in their ‘symptoms’ as all children. 😉

    Like

    • Yanic A. says:

      Thank you for your kind words. It is what I keep telling everyone : My child’s quirks just have a label. But we are all a little quirky. I’m confident life will give him what he needs and he will find joy wherever this road takes him. And we will be there with him, holding his hand.

      Like

  9. Kim says:

    So happy you have some answers my friend, and are moving forward with a wonderful team of people who will come to care and love your son as he grows and moves along this path. Wishing you guys all the best as you move forward. xo

    Like

  10. Marie says:

    Vous semblez avoir un tel support, toute une équipe multidisciplinaire avec qui travailler, que vous mettez toutes les chances de votre côté pour que votre Little Man développe au maximum toutes ses habiletés. Et il est encore si jeune, plein de découvertes vous attendent, et sûrement de belles surprises! Ses progrès des dernières semaines montrent à quel point il peut apprendre rapidement et ses habiletés sociales sont définitivement un atout précieux. Il faut maintenant l’accompagner et lui faire confiance. Et d’après la lecture de tes posts, je pense que vous le faites déjà très bien.

    Like

    • Yanic A. says:

      Merci pour les gentils mots et ton encouragement. Il est tellement un petit être fascinant. Maintenant que nous commençons à comprendre les connections dans son cerveau, les processus qui l’animent me font sourire. Et bougez plus : quelle prescription! Nous sommes très chanceux d’être aussi bien entourés. 🙂

      Like

  11. sophiezest says:

    Hi Yanic,
    I am humbled by your words. I have never met anyone so willing, and determined, to see the beauty in life (all aspects of life!). I have so much to learn from you. I know your husband and children are very lucky to have you, and you are doing a fantastic job as parents! I will be interested to read about your experiences. Good luck!

    Like

    • Yanic A. says:

      You are too kind Sophie… it wasn’t always this way. But through my cultivation and return to a simpler way of life, you learn in your true heart to pinpoint what is truly important. A few weeks before we got the diagnosis, I ran into an old collegue of mine at a city playground. We got to talking and I found out his oldest (6 years old) was diagnosed with lukememia last Spring. It’s all about perspective. Like I said : when I wanted kids, all I hoped for them was to be healthy and happy. And they are both just that. Everything else is secondary.

      And I will totally be sharing all our fun. We are building a sensory bin today. Should be fun (and a little bit messy!)

      Like

  12. I am so happy to read that he has normal hearing and that you are receiving thorough intervention. Good things are happening and I bet you’ll be surprised how the early intervention gets him on track by the time school starts 🙂

    Like

    • Yanic A. says:

      Thank you Karen… Ans I agree with you, getting such an early diagnosis was a blessing. I can only imagine how hard it must be to address all these sensory issues when the child is already in school. I’m excited for the future. Life won’t be boring that is for certain!

      Like

  13. alexa says:

    My dear friend, I’ve been away for a bit and come back to this post of yours. Such a special boy you have. I find it so beautiful to see life through their eyes – like experiencing childhood all over again! So nice to see how your son is already responding to your adaptations. I hope you and your family are able to walk this path together with as much joy, beauty and hope as you do now. xo

    Like

    • Yanic A. says:

      Thank you my dear Alexa for your kind words… So far, it has been (for what it seems) such an effortless shift. Maybe it is because of our refusal to fight it. I feel like so many people would (and do). Even in our surroundings, some people,s first reaction was “will you get a second opinion?”. I think anything with a “label” is scary to many, but we just see it as another beautiful thing about him : He has blue eyes, he has curly strawberry blond hair, he has sensory processing issues, he is on the spectrum, he loves to be tickled… LOL! Does that make any sense? I’m sure there will be so many moments of frustrations, but raising any child (of the spectrum or on) has those moments so we are walking this path putting one foot in front of the other, tomorrow will come no matter if we have a bad day or a good day. That is all you know for certain. ❤

      And yes, they are truly wonders, these little beings of ours, our little lights.

      Like

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  15. mari says:

    Oh Yanic….my daughter is autistic, and yes, it is a bit daunting once you get the news. But then, you begin to adjust and realize that you just have a very unique child that requires a bit more than others…that is all :0)

    With Ariana, I try not to over stimulate her. So going to malls or supermarkets, where there are a great deal of sensory stimuli, is a bit no-no. Instead, she loves to walk with me. Listening to soft music and been in the garden, sitting under our shady bushes :0)

    Your family is going to do great with this!

    love,

    mari

    Like

    • Yanic A. says:

      Thank you for your words Mari. It was more of a confirmation than news for us I think. I went through the “Oh My God” period in the late Spring when it became pretty apparent that he could hear just fine and it wasn’t at all deafness that was the cause. But yes, I get little pangs of panic sometimes at the uncertainty ahead. But I catch myself and remind myself that nobody can predict the future. So to live in the moment is the only source of peace one can have.

      With our Little Man, it is the opposite. He is under(hypo)-reactive… He loves the crowds, the noise, the lights, the park… About the only time he ever falls asleep in his stroller anymore is when we are walking downtowwn among the traffic. But he does enjoy music. I think that might be universal.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Tiffany says:

    Hi Yanic! Happy that you have found some answers. It sounds like he is doing very well. Serafina cannot concentrate very well at all. She doesn’t like to do planned out activities (even sitting and reading a book) so that is huge! How old is your son? It seems like when we first found out Serafina had autism (at just having turned 3), things got progressively worse, as in the autism behavioral changes began to show more and more in her. Before that she would love to sit and look at books and play with some things. Now she does more of her own thing. She is not violent, but the lack of communication makes them sometimes get pretty frustrated and she has bit herself a few times (no head banging though). I think the parent’s mood and ability to handle their frustrations really helps. Keeping calm ourselves and being loving and understanding. I am here if you ever want to email me. I have gone through all of the emotions of this and it would be great to chat and have another family to relate to! Wishing you and your family all the best! The idea that most people have of autism is quite different from the reality. Plus, every child is different! Much Love! ❤

    Like

    • Yanic A. says:

      Hello Tiffany, thank you so much for sharing. I see a lot of similar behaviors in your little one and mine. The concentration is a problem as well. But for us, there was never a regresson the way it happened for your daughter. Our Little Man was never really like other kids. He never had a “normal” period aside from when he was super young. He was always a bit under reactive, over active and moody. He never really wanted to do all the things kids usually do at the appropriate age and was constantly getting stuck on the strangest “games”. So for us, seeing him achieve things that fit the general learning curve is quite encouraging.

      I just might take you up on your offer to pick your brain is I have questions, thank you so much for offering. xo

      Like

  17. Appleshoe says:

    As you know, Panda has the same diagnosis. Autism is a difference, not a sentence. Your a good mama, and he chose you and your husband to be his parents for a reason. Those are things I remind myself of on trying days. The good news for both of our sons is that this was caught so early and by the time they go off to kindergarten this Might manifest as more of a learning difference instead of a disorder. It really is amazing how much they can help in this early stage. Take care. Our children are amazing little people, we know that, they know that, time for the world to know as well 🙂

    Like

  18. Mountain Girl says:

    You have been through a lot since I last visited. You are such a good, kind, careful and thoughtful mom–and I think especially so in that you are so very trusting that all will work out for good. I have known a mother who took her child to one psychiatrist after another to try to “get a label” for any quirky differences–when really, they are just that–quirky differences. Nothing wrong, and not a problem–until that child realized something must be wrong with them due to all these interactions and discussions. That child is now my stepson, and he is perfectly normal–once he was made to realize he IS normal. You are doing so well, and I pray the best for you and your family.

    Like

    • Yanic A. says:

      It’s strange you should tell that story because here, most parents would not take the initiative to get a “label”… But either way, I think the importance is acceptance : Whether the label is put on or not. And I think it was said best in another comment : Autism is not a sentence. At the end of the day, my son will thrive with our help and even if he will always have a slightly different way of looking at things and making those connections, it will not mean he can’t have a full and happy life.

      Thank you so much for your prayers dear Mia… much love to you and yours. xo

      Like

  19. jenny says:

    i just love your approach to the bumps in life. you are absolutely right! he is perfectly healthy, happy, beautiful, intelligent, etc. and the more you know, the more you can help him along. your beautiful optimistic view of life is such a wonderful thing to witness.

    Like

    • Yanic A. says:

      Thank you Jenny, that is very sweet of you to say. I don’t always feel like I have it completely down, but I’ve always been a fan of the “glass half full” approach. 🙂 I can’t wait to see all we get accomplished when we start full time therapy.

      Like

  20. sally says:

    I read this post a while back but didn’t get a chance to comment at the time, and I’ve been thinking about it, and your family, since and feeling very happy for you. If I had to choose for me, or for any of my children, between deafness and this ‘diagnosis’, it would be this every time without hesitation. There will be so much you can do to work with your son now you’re understanding more about his perspective, yes I’m sure you’ll have challenging moments and days but then parenting is full of a variety of those already! And your little one does already seem incredibly well adjusted and grounded for a child in this scenario. He is unique and happy, just what a child should be. And now you know he will be able to hear the birds sing and to dance to music, and hear the crunch of leaves underfoot and the sound of the ocean. And hopefully one day he’ll hear his own baby laugh for the first time, as positive as you would have been (and were being) about deafness, and as much as there would have been so many wonderful things left in his life, all those things and many more are just priceless. Funnily enough I feel much more clued up on SPD than autism. Sam had several elements of that identified by a really lovely, perceptive and interested specialist teacher when he was a pre-schooler, but we didn’t really explore it any further at the time, I think we were slightly wary and defensive of our child being ‘labelled’ in any way! To us he was ‘normal’, and his behaviour and quirky little ways were not causing us any concern. With hindsight we definitely should have explored it further. He hasn’t grown up ‘badly’ in any way, but perhaps there might have been more we could have done to help him adjust to some of the accepted ‘norms’ of society – generally silly little things like wearing his shoes with the laces done up rather than as loose as he can keep them without them falling off his feet! And possibly more could have been done to help him with his handwriting earlier as well! And it’s interesting now because Maria also has very similar traits, which become more pronounced if she is distressed or worrying about something (we didn’t notice that with Sam, but then he was never a worrier), and we’re just starting to explore more about what we can do for her. We’ve been put in touch with a very good place to get advice and ideas, but over here generally there isn’t much recognition or support for sensory issues unless they go hand in hand with another ‘label’ – like ‘autism’ or ‘downs syndrome’ etc. How is support and advice over where you are? Sorry, very long comment!

    Like

    • Yanic A. says:

      Bah! I LOOOOOVE your long comments. It feels like we are having a conversation.

      Support is amazing here. Many will speak of long waits in our health care system, but once you are done with the wait, they fully invest in you and I couldn’t feel better accompaned through all this. The evaluation process took 6 months, but in less than 12 weeks, we will have as our allies a specialized educator, a speech therapist, an occuptional therapist and a pediatric psychologist. 80% of the therapy will be through the specialized educator and that will happen in-home. He will even accompany Little Man to the daycare he goes to on Thursday mornings to do some 1-on-1 work while in a group of his peers. That will be about 20 hours a week. then, throughout the month, he will go to the actual rehab center for the 3 other therapies in a more formal setting. So they said to expect between 20-25 hours a week, but most of that will be at home. I always refer to it as his “private coaches”… I’m sure they will become like family after so much time with them. 🙂 I’m so excited to learn from them. We plan on having the sensory gym 100% set up by the time the in-home visits start. I’ll be posting pictures for sure.

      I think it’s amazing you are able to clue into Maria’s sensory needs now. So many amazing things we can do. If I can suggest an amazing book : http://www.amazon.com/Sensory-Processing-101-Dayna-Abraham/dp/0692518363 The ladies that wrote it run great blogs thaat I’ve become an avid reader of and they have a wonderful way of making the information accessible. I learned so much!

      Like

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