I have been avoiding this topic due to the personal nature of it. 9 years ago my wife and I adopted a beautiful boy. He looks so much like me that everyone thinks he is biological. Blond hair and blue eyes. Now, I’m a pretty good looking guy, as you can tell from my videos. But this kid will be much better looking than I am, and taller than me as well (though that isn’t a HUGE accomplishment). Anyways, I digress . . .
As he grew into a toddler, he started to show some unique behaviors. I thought it was just regular, busy boy type behavior; speech delay, playing with other children, cooperative behavior and changing routines. However, my wife felt there was something deeper than that. I had a hard time accepting something could be wrong with him. I was in denial, but there were things that made him stand out even to me: he was the loudest boy in the room and very susceptible to stimulus, and couldn’t/wouldn’t sit and focus on simple tasks like singing at church with the other kids.
His behavior prompted many to ask me if he had autism. Ironically, if that many people ask about the possibility of autism, it’s likely autism. I didn’t want to believe it because, to me, autism was “Rain Man”: socially awkward, constantly memorizing the phone book (though no one uses those anymore), and a whiz at statistics and probability. My ignorance blinded me to the vast spectrum of autism, where not every autistic person is Rain Man.
I hid in my work. I was putting in 12-16 hour days with the Army, being Army Strong. I didn’t have, or make, the time and patience to figure out what his deal was. The whole responsibility fell on my dear wife. After many appointments and test, he was diagnosed with ADHD and Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS). So, not only is he on the autism spectrum, but he is very busy. Our sweet boy tries so hard. He loves life and bring much joy to our lives. He loves to explore the world and has a great deal of sensitivity to many things.