We would never have started this blog if not for the previous nine months of our son’s life.
We would have welcomed Liam’s sister Molly into the world a week after Liam turned two in July and continued on our merry way. But at eighteen-months old Liam–our monkey, our buddy, our joyous little monster-man–started to change: he stopped doing things he used to do and starting doing things he’d never done before. The language he was learning slowly slipped away; our always-somewhat-shy boy began avoiding other kids and adults; eye contact didn’t happen as often.
So when Molly came home from the hospital, we began two new adventures: one to welcome our little lady into the family and the other to find out how to help our little man.
We’re starting this blog for a number of reasons. We’ve found that we need an outlet, somewhere to process the adventures of this season. There are people in our lives with whom we want to share these stories but don’t have the time, energy, or opportunity to do so. There are things we want our community to know so we can make it the best place we can for our kids. And of course, we want to share adorable pictures of Liam and Molly, like these two:
So, what’s going on? Why is our son having such difficulties right now?
Right now, that’s a question without an answer. Autism? Maybe. Maybe not. Only time and response to therapy will tell. What we do know, however, is that Liam has a developmental delay (he hasn’t learned to do some things that are typical of a kid his age), he has a social delay (he doesn’t interact with other people in ways that are typical of a kid his age), and he has a language delay (he doesn’t communicate in ways that are typical of a kid his age).
Imagine that–someone in this family who isn’t typical.
In addition to these delays, we’ve discovered that he has sensory processing issues. Courtney explains sensory processing better than I, and she would tell you that:
We all have minimum and maximum sensory input levels. To make it through a boring meeting at work, some people need the minimum stimulation of tapping their pen or shifting in their chair; at a busy party, some people avoid their maximum stimulation by camping out in the kitchen or leaving early. Liam’s minimum sensory input level for learning is higher than most others (ie. he needs more of it), but, at the same time, the maximum level with which he can cope is lower than most (ie. he overloads sooner).
As a result, the last few months of our lives have been filled with multiple early intervention evaluations, lots of phone conversations with a case worker, too much paperwork, way too many Google searches, and even more fear and worry. Let’s not forget sleepless nights and diapers (we have a four-month old, after all).
And we’re in the middle of it, friends. We don’t have answers, but we do have three therapy appointments a week and a lot of homework. We know a few things for certain, though: Liam is a smart, funny, kind, generous, loving, and joyous kid. We also know that we are not alone. We have our faith, our family, and our friends surrounding us in prayer and support. Without all of these things, this process would be so much more difficult.
We’ll leave it at that for now. More to come.
Matt & Courtney