Thursday, April 30, 2015

Life isn't Typical for our Family - Dexter Update

The one thing I wanted to accomplish by having a blog for Max was to be a advocate for early intervention. Your child's Well-Check-Ups are so important and being completely honest with your child's doctor. I used to hate filling out the questionnaires for Max because he wasn't meeting hardly any of the age appropriate milestones. I will admit that a few times the right answer was not what I admitted too. I wanted to have a typical child. But what I have learned is nothing is typical.
Because of early intervention, our pediatrician and being an advocate for Max we have been able to help him strive. We have found a preschool that we all adore with a community of parents that all want the best for their Autistic children. 

The reason Well-Check-Ups are so important because they help monitor progress. Max started really having Autistic symptoms that were very noticeable at age two. And this is common. As children with autism develop their symptoms become more prevalent.  And in some cases Autistic Signs might not even be seen until 2 or 3 years.  They could even have typical development but then start to loose them. This would include communication skills, motor skills, and the ability to be self aware. (Being self aware for example is seeing emotions in others like being sad, happy, mad, responding to your name, being able to self sooth, etc)  That is what happened with Max.  He lost words, and the ability to communicate and then stopped making sounds or hand gestures all together around age 2. 

Max is about 20-24 months behind his peers. His communication skills and self awareness is something that is developing at a slower rate. And that is okay. Progress is progress. 

Dexter (Max's brother) is now 21 months. He will turn two in July. 
Dexter has been slower to develop in the communication and gross motor area but it wasn't a worry for me. Dexter also has great eye contact and has since birth. Dexter loves to smile just like Max does and is generally a very happy toddler. 
Around Halloween last year (2014) we started slowly noticing things that worried us.  They were subtle at first but then over time they became more and more concerning.  We talked with his doctor and we were told to watch him, document specific concerns and even take video of our concerns, then if needed contact the early intervention program we used with Max. We also spoke with Max's teachers and expressed our concerns. Dexter is currently seeing an early intervention specialist for speech and Occupational Therapy (OT).  Things have been changing for Dexter and in the future I expect him to need some TLC just like Max.  But for now we are doing all that we can at his age to help him communicate and develop.

Dexter has never slept through the night. His longest stretch since birth has been 4 hours. He panics, screams, gets a rapid heart beat, hits his head against the wall and has major anxiety.  He has been making himself so upset that he throws up.  It is very scary to experience, and make me feel so helpless. The only this that calms him is breastfeeding. So yes I am still breastfeeding my 21 month old. Sleep has progressively gotten worse along with other concerning signs that something with Dexter isn't right. Will and I are so grateful that we have some knowledge to understand what to look for and where to go for help. As of right now prayers that we are lead in the right direction for Dexter and for our whole family would be greatly appreciated. 
Will have some hunches and gut feelings about what is going on but until we know for sure and have a family plan we want to stay positive and do what is best for Dexter. 
A rare occurrence that only last 10 minutes but it was a peaceful ten minutes.
For now we are working with Max's amazing team of teachers, our pediatrician and other people to help us with Dexter. Sleep is so important. But finding out the cause is also another piece to the puzzle. My family means the world to me. We have our struggles and our life isn't typical. I might only be getting 2-4 hours of sleep a night but right now I wouldn't have it any other way. 


  1. You have been given two very special children. I have midpoint that you will get the answers and help you need and you will get a good nights rest eventually!

  2. You are such an amazing mother Tiff, never forget that. I will be praying for your family to get some more sleep and to get the answers that will help Dexter. Your boys are adorable and precious and they're so lucky to have the incredible parents they have.