Thursday, August 27, 2015

Every Child is Different

Every single child is different. 
They learn different. 
They each have unique qualities that make their individual personalities. 
They react to situations differently.
And over the past four years of being a mom I have learned that both of my children are as different as they come. 
But one thing is for certain they both crave love.  They want to be understood and loved.  And it is my hope that Will and I are doing that for both of them. 

When Dexter was born two years ago both Will and I knew Max and Dexter would have a close bond.  Will witnessed one of the cutest events when Dexter was just a day old.  Dexter had some breathing issues at birth and was in the nursery receiving oxygen.  When Max came to the hospital to meet Dexter, Will went to the nursery to get him.  Will leaned into Dexter's bassinet and said "Time to go meet your brother."  And Dexter smiled big and proud.  He knew how much he already loved him.  Max at the time wasn't expressing many emotions but as soon as Dexter was brought in the room Max put all his cars straight into his bassinet.  Brotherly love is deep with these two!

Dexter has had sleeping issues since birth.  And we have seen so many specialist and had so much advice given to us about sleep.  I have followed my mommy gut on a lot of decisions.  We as a family do not believe in the cry it out method.  Plus Dexter was physically hurting himself at night if he was left to scream and cry.  He would go into full panic mode, and has had many bruises to prove it.  He has never slept through the night and wakes up anywhere between 3-8 times.   
Dexter still nurses and that really has been a blessing.  It is the only thing that calms him.  And on really bad nights even nursing won't settle him down. 

Dexter also has sensitivity to noise.  Especially deep noises, or loud pitches.  This past weekend we were in Salt Lake with my Dad and we ate at Kneeders.  Every once in a while a high pitch beep would be heard from the kitchen.  Dexter would whimper and cover his ears. 

Dexter is very smart.  I know, I know I am his mom but I have never met another 2 year old that knows the alphabet upper and lower case, his numbers 1-20 (can say them and recognize them) and has now started to realize that letters form words.  He has known his letters since about 18 months or even earlier.  It has become a huge obsession just like Max's obsession with trains and wheels. 

About nine months ago we started noticing some concerning signs with Dexter.  Some were the same that we saw with Max and some were very different.  We talked to Max's teacher and also to our pediatrician and determinded that we needed to get him evaluated for Autism and Anxiety disorder.  The process has changed in the past 18 months because of insurance companies taking a more active roll in Autism treatments, which is a good thing, but makes the process long.

This past Monday we went to our final meeting with our case worker and psychiatrist.  And it was determined from all the testing we have done over the past few months that Dexter has a speech delay, Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), anxiety disorder, and has Autism Spectrum Disorder. This was not a shock to Will or I, but it is still a diagnosis you don't wish upon your child.  We are prepared for the life that this means for our family with two special needs children. We have already started fighting for Dexter just like we do for Max.
We are very grateful for our family and friends who love, support, and listen to us on the hard days.  Thank you.  It truly takes a village.  


  1. Your post fascinated me. I had no idea that you had concerns about Dexter, and while I wouldn't wish this difficulty on anybody, you and your husband seem very well equipped to handle it. I admire how you love your sons,you fight for your sons, and you win for your sons. I loved hearing about Dexter's proclivity towards letters,, sounds, and words. That's so exciting! I wish you all the best in your journey with these two boys as you help them become men. xoxo Pat Bahr

    1. We didn't really say much about Dexter because we wanted to be sure before we made a statement as big as Autism. But we are grateful that we have wonderful doctors who have helped and documented with us our concerns since Dexter was a newborn. We knew he had close to a 75% chance of being Autistic.