Thursday, September 22, 2005

Sam's Early Signs, the first few months. (Journal #2)

Sam or Samuel, is 3 1/2. Sam was educationally diagnosed with Autism at 3. We have been on a waiting list with a regionally known center for Autism to receive the medical diagnosis for 6 months, and will finally receive our assessment in 2 weeks. We are not denying that Sam is Autistic, as we are now even more convinced that he is. We are simply seeking the medical diagnosis to be able to receive additional services, support groups and educational assistance if needed.

We have always known that there was something special about Sam. At birth, he decided to enter this world with a bang! Sam was the second of 2 boys. His brother was almost 5 at the time of his birth. He ended up being an emergency c-section, as his head never came down because it was his neck that was trying to come out first. Our doctor told us that he would have never been born naturally after the c-section. Upon arrival, Sam thought that he should make it clear that he was not just a tiny newborn, but a life full of excitement, including a birth poundage to that nearly of a bowling ball. Sam was a whopping 9 pounds 8 oz.

He hardly cried in the hospital, and I insisted that he be in bed with me the whole stay. We didn't need to send him to the nursery in the evenings to get sleep, because he was so good. But...I never really slept. I just watched him next to me in bed ( I know, he should have been in his bassinet, but there are side rails in hospital beds you know!) and kept thinking how blessed we were to have another beautiful boy. He was gorgeous! His skin was a beautiful tan (oops, found out later it was the jaundice) and seemed to be so content.

Nursing wasn't a breeze, he didn't really fuss much to eat, but when he did, he seemed to latch on only a little at a time and refused to face me or look at me. He didn't seem super interested in the affectionate part of nursing, just got what he needed and then he was done. Would give you that look like, okay, I am through, put me down. Shortly after discovering that Sam was Autistic, many of my closest friends have told me that I said many times, when nursing Sam, that I thought he was Autistic because he wouldn't look at me when I was nursing him.

Almost 6 weeks after birth, our pediatrician said that it appeared that Sam had Torticollis, (Torticollis (wry neck) is a congenital or acquired condition of limited neck motion in which the child will hold the head to one side with the chin pointing to the opposite side. It is the result of the shortening of the sternocleidomastoid (neck) muscle. In early infancy, a firm, non-tender mass may be felt in the midportion of the muscle. The mass will go away and be replaced with fibrous tissue. If untreated, there can be permanent limitation of neck movement. There may be flattening of the head and face on the affected side). Following 4 months of physical therapy, he seemed fine. I was very quick to say the reason for him not looking at me when nursing was because he couldn't, while in the back of my head I thought there was something more.

Sam was very, very content as a baby. Acted as if he didn't need to be held. I actually found myself holding him even more, to remind him that he did need me to hold him. I was blessed in that I took off from teaching from his birth day in February till the end of the school year, which then allotted me the entire summer also for my maternity leave. The time also allowed me to spend lots of quality time with my oldest son, as Sam was not very demanding.

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mysamiam said...
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