Update: it’s been a couple of years since I wrote this note- life experiences and learning continues, my kids are now 22,19, 16, 15, and 14- but their personalities haven’t, so the rest is still good to go. 🙂
A NOTE ABOUT NAMES
When I began this blog, it was a very personal thing- not much more than an extension of my journal. Thus, all my kids were referred to by their given names, and I didn’t think much of it. Then I began to realize that the whole point of helping others by sharing, would require an ever broadening group of people to read here- and so I started to blank out the names of my kids, both for their safety, and also so that they don’t quit talking to me when they find out I have been sharing our life’s ups and downs. But saying “my oldest” or “my 14 year old” got dry and clumsy really fast, and made the whole thing too impersonal. So I’m back to names; but for the sake of them still talking to me when they get older, everyone will be called by their nick-names.
So, without further ado, I would like to introduce you to some of the best friends of my life, my kids.
Ryan, Brand, TeaRose, DK, and Kydee,
Ryan-Isaiah is my Ryanator.
He is my oldest and 19. He is a natural leader when in his element, and a great story creator. Ryan has talents on computer games that most kids only dream of. He is nearly 6‘4” and totally wrapped around little sister’s finger 🙂 He also has Dyslexia, high functioning Autism, some sensory integration difficulties, and WHOPPER Cluster Migraines.
When Ryan was born, at just shy of 11 pounds and 23.5 inches long, he was the most perfect baby I had ever seen. And as he grew, he was so cheerful and athletic, obedient, and easy to be around that I never even thought of all those lists of what to watch for if you think something is wrong. I don’t think I ever saw him angry till the day I tried to start teaching him his alphabet and reading. So only in hindsight do I remember things like the fact that he said his first word at 18 months (“hot” when we were teaching him not to touch stoves) and then never spoke again till 3.5 years old. And I never thought it different from other kids that he had no fear, or that he wanted the same movie over and over And I thought every mom should put jingle bells on their door and their kids in a harness when in public places. 🙂
Brand -also SuperFX.
Brand is almost 17, and is rapidly catching up to his brother in height. Brand is my deep, quiet, wise one. He loves everyone, and tends to take the world on his shoulders sometimes. He loves a good nerf sword fight, helping Mom, but not homework very much. He is so easy to be with and so smart, that it took a lot of learning about Autism way down deep before I could really know for sure how really Autistic-ish (is that a word?) he is, and spot his “ice-walls” as we called them as the autistic overload shut-down that they were. Because he is so borderline, it took ill he was nearly 17 to get a formal diagnosis- a process we both hated. Currently we have discovered the Jr. College/Tech school and their 3D animation course. and barely made it thru that before other health issues peeked in. But he still makes sure to ask if I’m ok, and gives lots of strong hugs. Makes the whole thing worth-while, doesn’t it? 🙂
TeaRose Is just that. My beautiful tender blossom straight from Heaven.
She was the first one that I knew something was up at a much earlier age. From day one, in fact. But I think it was the summer day when she was 4, and we were at a reunion, that it became truly obvious. The family races hit me hard, cause I realized that it was the first time I had ever seen her run. Her running stayed stiff and blocky clear till 1st grade, when the PE teacher took a special interest in helping her. It hadn’t phased me that she didn’t talk till she was almost 4- none of my kids had so far. But when she did start talking it was with a very alto, monotone voice. The Kindergarten asked to test her for special needs, but those old tests did not find “enough markers” to give her any more of a listing than “delayed communication.”– That was the key word I used later on to start me on my grand Autism adventure.
My TeaRose is now 14, and is currently fully diagnosed with Autism, in the High Functioning range, with co-morbid sensory integration struggles in hearing. She is also pulling mostly A’s and A-’s in school, and does it on sheer determination and hours and hours, because she can’t stand the thought of failing. So we have to navigate the schools without IEP help, cause she doesn’t qualify, relying so far on lots and lots of communication with teachers, and going the 504 direction.
DK- really IS- SuperDK!
He is an awesome cross between Tigger and a Super-guy type of hero. He is 12 and will be the first one to tell you that he’ll be 13 in less than 4 weeks. DK has more love in his little finger than most people have in their whole entire body- but no true friends, because he doesn’t know how to show it in socially acceptable ways. So I make sure I’m his friend, and play with him a bit every day- and I don’t tolerate any of what the world would call “normal” sibling rivalry, or picking on each other. It’s not allowed in my house.
He has the same diagnosis as his sister- but found it much easier to spend the day, every day, in the principal’s office and take the F’s, than deal with the head-pain of class. So, he did qualify for IEP- which was a blessing in disguise for him; he is now in a transition class of only 6 kids in Jr. High– and for the first time in years he is coming home telling me about the fun he had, and the things he learned in school that day. !!!!
Kydee might be summed up in the single word- Soda-pop.
She is 11, and my only NT- and I have to say it came as a surprise to hear normal infant babbling. I had never heard that before.
Kydee loves art, school, reading, music, and her family. And her list of things to love is always growing. Her enthusiasm for life is pure effervescence. She is the one, besides Mom, that all the other kids turn to for comfort, play and hugs; and she handles it with surprising strength and grace for a kid her age– only overloading once in a while, tho’ she is very grateful to be in her own school (no siblings.) She is bright, but in a family of bright kids (in spite of their learning issues) what really stands out is her pure zest and joy for learning. Nothing makes her happier than a new art medium to try, or a new Nova program to watch- curled up on the bed with me. It’s our ultimate escape from the stress of a long, high maintenance day.