Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Mid-Week Mumblings

Wednesday, already! Where the heck does the time go?

My "favorite son" left about 3:30 Tuesday morning to meet up with his boss and co-driver to start their week's run and we've not been able to reach him via his cell phone since. This irritates the living daylights out of me when his phone either isn't charged or he hasn't cleared out his incoming messages or he just has it set to automatically go to voice mail. Not nice to do things like that to your mother -or to your two sisters who worry their collective fannies off about him as much as old Mom does too.

The thing of it is I actually have something I really want to tell him - not just "where are you, where you heading" type questions that usually are what flies back and forth between us the first day or two after he and his boss go on a run.

Yesterday morning, the older daughter called and began talking about someone in a manner that told me she was assuming we (younger daughter and I) knew whatever news she had but we didn't. I'm wishing I hadn't heard this news flash too though once she got around to explaining the situation.

She'd spoken to a very close friend of hers yesterday morning and had found out the father of their close friend had died suddenly the night before - Monday night, that would be. This man's daughter is, along with the young woman she'd been talking to Tuesday morning, the older daughter's closest friends. The man's daughter is also my next door neighbor too. That, plus the fact I've known him for well over 50 years now through church, and such, and he was only five years my senior, it all came as a major shock to hear this. I'd not heard of him having any major health issues, not even any somewhat minor problems really. As it turns out though, apparently he was having some problems with his lungs, had a coughing attack and died as a result of that.

Just hard to believe things can happen to us that change our life's landscape in such a fast order, isn't it?

Hearing what happened to my old friend, "Zippy" (his nickname as long as I can recall) did give me pause though especially since I am currently dealing with the cold aftermath - the horrendous cough! I'm really going to have to rethink my position on the olde nicotine favorite addiction of mine I guess but boy, thinking about dropping a "life-long friend" (seems like the smokes have often been that to me) and actually doing something about it -i.e. quitting - is a hard, tough ball of wax for me to tackle. Only those who are or have been smokers can probably understand my thinking process there.

Yesterday, the lady who is the main honcho (I think) of the program run by a local agency here that Maya has been enrolled in for the past 2 plus years now was here to do the first intake on the baby. Yes, we have noticed several markers that could be indicative of either developmental delays or autism or both. With the paperwork now done, the team evaluation of him is going to be just around the corner and after that, most likely he will be in a program just as his big sister is today. He doesn't have quite the same issues as Maya had -at least he does do a little play with toys that is "purposeful" whereas she didn't do that at all. But he has very poor eye contact, doesn't do a lot of interaction with us in terms of responding to things the way most kids his age would do - doesn't point to things like his nose or eyes or other body parts the way most kids his age do well before this, no vocabulary. He was also a late walker too but doesn't do the toe walking that his sister still does. Similar things, different things but all together rolls up into a bundle that looks very much like there will be a strong possibility of an autism diagnosis in the future for him too.

Miss Maya is still loving the pre-school. No problems at all getting her up, dressed, ready to go out and wait for the van to pull up and for her to head off to Clearfield to spend five hours with the teacher, aides and six other children in her age range, all who have a diagnosis of being somewhere on the autism spectrum.

Last night, I fell asleep early - like around 11 p.m. which for me is very early - but was awake at 2 a.m. for a bathroom call. After that, I had problems falling back to sleep and by 4 a.m., I was up, playing on the computer, reading new bloggers posts and such. Around about 5:30 to 6:00 a.m. I started hearing voices though and at first, it really had me a bit befuddled until I realized what it was I was hearing. Yes, it was a voice and it was Maya. Mandy has the intercom in her room and instead of having the receptor to it in her bedroom the way it used to be, she moved it downstairs and it sits on the mantle here in the living room.

But what the heck was Maya doing jabbering at that early an hour? Was she really talking or perhaps dreaming and talking in her sleep was my initial thought. However, after listening to her for better than a half hour, I knew she was awake -not dreaming, not talking in her sleep - and it was really fun to sit here and listen to her. Especially so when she decided to entertain whoever was able to hear her by singing many of the little songs she has learned now too.

Listening to her trying to sing - over and over - the "Pollywog Song" is really cute and very comical. She leaves out several words, mispronounces a good many too along the way, but she does have the basics on the melody down pat so you can figure out what song she's working on at any rate. "All a day, all a day" then "Gone to leesana, see my sue-sue anna, sing Polly wah all a day." No mistaking that there now is there?

It all serves to remind me just how far she has traveled over the past two years, but especially the last year of that time. A year ago, her vocabulary was just really beginning to come in. About this time last year, I was working on her trying to get her to learn how to sing "Happy Birthday" and by late November she had learned that along with Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. In December, she learned the bulk of the words to Jingle Bells. Over the winter months, we taught her "You are my Sunshine" and she picked up the Tim McGraw song "One, Two, Three" from watching the Country Music Video channel. She has other songs too now that she has learned - mainly from a little children's songs video she has that she loves to watch, to listen to and to imitate. Often, she is singing these songs and we aren't even aware of it because at times, she is quite subtle about this but it's always so much fun, such a treat to us when it dawns on us exactly what it is she's repeating.

Thanks again to the two therapists who put in many hours working with her over the past two years to bring her to this point now. They really are "miracle workers" in my book. There simply are no words to adequately say how grateful we all are that this program exists, that people like Kerri Cowfer and Amanda McCartney Curtis have learned how to work with children like Maya and who take so much pride in the work that they do too.

Kudos to both these fantastic young women!

And to anyone reading this post who may be concerned about a young child not acting quite the way they think the child should be doing for a specific age, worrying that it could be a problem like developmental delays or autism or some such other issue, please take the steps to contact your physician, don't be afraid of voicing your concerns and try to get the child evaluated, enrolled too in a rehabilitatory type program because they sure do help - very, very much so!

Awareness of the issue is key to getting the best responses possible from each child who may have these issues and do it as quickly as is humanly possible too! I just can't stress that enough.

Now, I'm going to go let the new batch of cough medicine Mandy got me hopefully start winging its way through my system so I will no longer feel every time I start to cough that I'm not just going to cough up a lung but also half of my intestines too!



Patois said...

You're doing a service encouraging folks to have kids checked. Hope the cough stays with you long enough so that you take the horrid plunge of quitting. October 11 will be 1 year for me. (Not that I haven't quit for longer times, but...this one is a keeper.

david mcmahon said...

You're so right - life's landscape can change in a flash. Happened to us last year around this time.

I guess the trick is to cherish people and places that matter - as I'm sure you do.

I'm mailing a cell phone charger to you - for your son!

Keep smiling


Theresa said...

Sorry to hear about your loss-It does make you evaluate your life and appreciate the small things.

Your advice is sound about autism any one reading it should heed it.