Today is the last day for Roman to be two. It’s been a year of great successes and growth for all of us. It was a year ago that I first heard the “A” word used in relation to my Bubby. Looking back, it shouldn’t have come as such a shock, as I had started to notice the changes by then. It took me awhile to digest the news, but after I was secure in knowing that it changed nothing about my sweet lil’ man, I vowed to do all I could to help him overcome his difficulties.
It all started with Early On and I will be forever grateful for their interventions. It was through their work that Roman first started to get his words back. They also started him using the PECS system, which I am obviously a big fan of. Without Early On, Roman would not be in his Early Childhood Special Education class, where the work to reclaim speech and non-verbal communication has continued.
Today I not only look back on this year, but on the entire life of my youngest. He was born early due to problems with preeclampsia. He spent two weeks in the NICU on oxygen to help his breathing difficulties. Looking back, knowing what I do now, I wonder if that fact has something to do with his later developing autistic symptoms. For that, I feel guilty. I know that there was nothing I could have done to prevent the problems with my pregnancy, but Mommy Guilt is a powerful thing. Could his lack of oxygen have led to some kind of brain damage that led to his autism? I have read that males that were born 2 or more weeks premature were four times as likely to develop autism than the general population.
Not only that, but with what I have learned about serotonin and autism lately has me wondering if the Zoloft I took while pregnant was also a factor. Did the SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) have something to do with Roman’s later serotonin synthesis deficiency? Talk about Mommy Guilt…
But I have to look forward. I must remind myself of that every day. There are great strides to be made this year. The excitement of starting the Buspirone is energizing. Interventions through school seem to be helping more than I could have imagined. I just know words are right around the corner. By this time next year, I am expecting great things. I just know this year has even more growth than the last.