This time last year was a tough time for Hudson. He was transitioning out of a crib, potty training, starting a new school, and had a new sister. He did not handle the change well. He went through a very fearful stage. He cried every time we left him. He never wanted to go to school. He would not stay in the church nursery. He even cried when people talked to him, even people we knew. He was really mean to Clara, and I could not leave him alone with her for a second.
He also went deep into a few obsessions. One of those that worried us the most was his obsessions with doors. He would choose to open and close a door over playing with his friends. He would choose it over the Chick-fil-a playground. I would have to prep him before every door we encountered. He would throw a fit if he could not keep opening and shutting it. He was also obsessed with keys and even light switches.
I was worried. His teachers were worried. We had him tested for behavior/ learning disorders at Will's school, per suggestion from his teachers.
Results were inconclusive, as they often are for 2 1/2 year olds. He showed some indicators of learning issues, including autism, but nothing to be alarmed with yet. He actually qualified for early intervention during the testing, but when they did our in home interview, they decided he did not qualify. This confused me. I worried and cried and finally came to a place of trust and peace in God's will. Yet, I continued to pray that autism would not be the road we walked.
A year later, my sweet boy is doing great. He loves his friends. He talks to strangers. He plays with toys and watches movies. He loves to go to the church nursery and stay over at his friend's house. He jokes and laughs. He still finds an interest in doors/ keys and other random things. Yet, it is not an obsession. He would rather run and play tag with children than open a door.
I am not writing this to say my son came out of autism. No, I have no walked that road like so many brave moms. My son just went through a tough time, and this world seems to be on a witch hunt for a diagnosis when someone is not conforming, including this mommy. My son is still a quirky boy. He is unlike any boy I have ever met, but it is the quirky ones who often impact the world the most. I have learned and am continuing to learn to embrace his differences and to celebrate him. I sadly spent the past year trying to make him conform. I tried to push him to act like his peers. As I relinquished that and stopped worrying and obsessing for him, I began to see the beauty in how God made him.
My son will still choose to carry around a glue stick rather than a toy car. He would rather hang belts on hooks rather than play with a train set. He gets super excited over candles and people's wallets. Right now he is sleeping beside a few of his treasures. These rotate between keys, a calculator, a coin bank, a wallet, a blood sugar checker with accessories, and most recently, glue sticks and a pill bottle full of beans. This is just part of him though. He loves cars, real ones not fake ones. He is a fan of Curious George. He loves to play with his Daddy's tools and pretend with his tool set. He loves to help me cook and pretend in his kitchen. He loves to play doctor. He loves tag and hide and seek. His memory is insane. He can recall things that happened a year ago. He is a whiz at his Bible memory verses!
Anyway, I decided not to put him in a MDO this year. I am in no way saying MDO is not a good thing. It just wasn't a good thing for us and for him. Not now anyway. I am fine with the fact that he is not ready to sit still and learn. He is learning the way he needs to learn at this stage of his life. He actually knows most of his letters, colors, shapes, and numbers through "on the go" learning. We don't sit still and learn, but that doesn't mean he is not taking things in to his brain and processing them just the same. Through all this, I have decided to let him lead his "learning" time. The main thing is that I want to enjoy this time with him. I want to play and imagine and have fun. I want to him to feel loved and safe and not weird.
Sadly, I think I have made him feel weird over the past year. Weird because I felt the pressure for him to be like everyone else. I am sorry for that, and I am done with that.
So grateful for my little boy and all of his quirks.