My Nephew...

@viakri (123)
United States
May 15, 2012 8:49am CST
My sister was 20 years old when we found out she would be bringing a beautiful life into this world. She had a wonderful and healthy pregnancy, an easy delivery, and a beautiful, healthy baby boy. Ian weighed 6lbs 11 oz and was 21.5" long. He was perfect! As he got older, he hit all of his milestones right on time. At six months old, he had a seizure. My sister took him to a specialist and they said he had a squiggly vein on his brain and they may eventually have to operate. Other than that, his brain was FINE according to the MRI. He continued to hit all of his milestones, crawled, walked, and talked at appropriate ages. At 15 months, he was vaccinated. I know some people say that vaccinations are not what cause Autism, but we have seen differently in our family. From that point on, he regressed. He stopped playing with other children, did not interact with many people, and stopped speaking. It was like someone turned the lights out on our little guy. By age two, my sister took him to the doctor for a well visit and expressed her concern for his lack of speech. The doctor told her that he is a boy and sometimes they don't speak well right away. He told her by the age of three she won't be able to shut him up. Age three came and still no talking. He was turning lights off and on, flailing his hands, stacking things, etc. She took him to a few specialists and finally got him diagnosed. We lost precious prevention time by that doctor steering her wrong. Today, Ian is 8 1/2 and severely Autistic. We are still waiting for the day for him to talk so much. When he does, we would never want him to stop or be quiet! He talks here and there single words. My sister just wants him to come up to her one day and say "I love you, Mom." Ian has made a lot of progress though. He was potty trained at age seven, he goes to school and shows the teacher what he wants by pointing to pictures, and he is even spelling words on a special program on the iPad! We are very proud of him and can't wait to see what the future holds! He is such a sweet and loving boy! Special kids have a place in your heart where nobody else, but God, is allowed!
1 person likes this
2 responses
@JJ4Ever (4704)
• United States
15 May 12
I've heard autism takes a lot of patience for the parents and family, and I've never really realized what all it involves to care for an autistic child. I think the main thing is that (obviously, in your nephew's case) doctors can't always tell that it's autism until later on. The other struggle is that people don't seem to know enough about it to know how to deal with it. If people were more educated about this condition, I think it would be diagnosed earlier on, and children could get the care they need to function. It makes me sad that some years of Ian's childhood were lost while the doctors were trying to figure out what was going on, but it's great that your sister is so good with him. One thing that frustrates me is that families with autistic children have to have an above average income to afford to care for their child properly. I don't think it should be that difficult to get treatment, but again, it's probably partially due to the fact that people don't know enough about the condition. It shouldn't be so difficult to care for a child. There are other programs in place to help parents care for children with other disabilities, so this is the same thing.
@JJ4Ever (4704)
• United States
16 May 12
I remember discussing that with you before, about the state of Michigan covering some medical expenses for autism! October is going to be a great month for your family. I bet that'll be a huge burden lifted and a big hurdle they can finally overcome. The finances with autism and the time it takes to care for Ian must be the two main issues. I cannot believe how expensive it is. It isn't even about that so much, though. It's the fact that $2,000 per month is all some people make, and that's what is required for your nephew's care. I can't believe what a sacrifice they are making. Your sister and brother-in-law are awesome people!
@viakri (123)
• United States
16 May 12
They really are! Thank God they have the means (sort of) to care for him so well. There are other children out there not so lucky. There isn't anything any of us wouldn't do to help Ian live a normal life though. We do a lot of fundraisers for him. Usually, the money from the fundraisers goes to something extra my sister wanted to try that she couldn't afford or for things (toys, sensory items) that has been on her wish list for him. There are a lot of things at his therapy places that are helpful for him but they are expensive, so when she gets extra money or when his birthday comes around, we all try to put our money together to get them for him!
1 person likes this
@JJ4Ever (4704)
• United States
17 May 12
Wow, I never even thought about what all goes into something like that. I mean, the whole family is involved in Ian's life, and I think that's wonderful! Everyone in this situation deserves the support of his/her family. I think that is probably a burden off your sister. Does your mom watch Ian often so your sister and brother-in-law can work? Another thing I was thinking was that your sister and brother-in-law must have a phenomenal marriage to deal with something like that and still be so close to each other with helping one another. I think having to deal with something like that would either make or break a relationship. I'm glad everything is going ok for them. That's so great that the family is involved in fundraisers for Ian too. One thing about your sister that I really like is that she's not satisfied with Ian's toys and therapy "as is," so to speak. She's constantly looking for new ways to help her son learn, grow, and heal. It's people like that who find cures for stuff like this! I realize there are a lot of different variances of the condition, but good for her for not being set with just caring for her son. Ian is fortunate to have parents who go above and beyond to care for him! If only he could communicate to them how much he appreciates it...maybe someday!
@timsmom3 (21)
• United States
31 Jul 12
I have a son with autism, but he's high functioning. I don't do vaccines, yet, at 18 months, he changed. I do believe vaccines contribute to autism, so no worries there. I just believe there are many other issues that contribute to it, as well. More like triggers than causes. Anyway, he developed on time and at about two years of age, he began losing his vocabulary. He was diagnosed at age three, but I began working with him at about 2 1/2 on my own. I chose to homeschool mine, so I can work with his therapies on a very regular basis and tailor his curriculum to his strengths and weaknesses. He has flourished! However, that wasn't always the case, so I can definitely relate to your sister. It's nice that she has such a supportive sister!