The story of Landon

by Alisha
(Hendersonville, NC, USA)

Hi, my name is Alisha. I have 2 kids, a son, Landon who is 4 and a daughter, Halle who is 3. Landon was recently diagnosed with having SPD... he is going for his first evaluation for the occupational therapy this coming Thursday. We have struggled with trying to find out what is wrong with him and getting him the help he needs, so we are excited we are finally making progress. Landon is also in the process of being diagnosed with Autism. They think it is high functioning, but still, it has been difficult to accept.

I think since Landon was an infant, I knew he was different. He screamed all the time for the first few weeks of his life; I thought I was going to go insane. I am/was a stay at home mom, so it seemed as though I never got a break from it... he would scream if you set him down, he refused to sleep anywhere but on top of my chest, he screamed if his diaper was the slightest bit wet or if his clothes were the least bit scratchy, if it was too bright or too loud in the house. On top of all of that they thought he had colic, he had horrible gas and constipation issues and nothing would help that...

Finally, one miraculous day, he started sleeping alone, I think around 6 months, and sleeping through the night... but all the extremities were still there, and as he got older, they became worse. Trying new, solid foods was a nightmare, he hated everything. He couldn't stand loud toys that most kids usually find delightful, we would have to take the batteries out of them so he could play, clothes people would buy him still had tags on them hanging in the closet, he couldn't wear them because of the tags or the material was too scratchy.

As he got older, we tried to adapt to his issues... we only bought him certain kinds of clothes, toys, food, and tried to explain to family and friends to do the same... some were understanding, others made the comment of we were just letting him be this way, we needed to make him behave differently. Yeah right.

Life has been difficult for all of us, Landon and his sister included... she often has to miss out on certain things if there aren't two of us there because he refuses to go/do an activity. He has no friends because he doesn't want to interact with other children. Birthday parties, parades, fairs, anything with crowds of people, and loud noise he can't tolerate so we stay at home. He is still not potty trained, and for his age around here, no preschool will take a child that isn't. So I have had to stay home a little longer then expected, and we are strained living on one income.

He has been late at every milestone,

the doctor said it was normal with him being a boy, because he eventually did master all of them, he talks normally, and his very bright. But his milestones for being older came way later, like feeding himself, he only mastered a couple of months ago. He still can't dress himself. He still can't eat meat, he literally can't chew it. He refuses to eat anything grainy, with seeds, drink any kind of milk, and has to have the exact same brands of things, like bread or he won't eat. A lot of that comes from the autism part.

He loves things that spin... cars, trucks, helicopters, fans, it doesn't matter, that is his obsession. He can make anything into a "fan", from 2 crayons to a pile of crackers being arranged into one.

Routine is very important to him, he has to have things in a certain order, do them in a certain time of the day or he becomes distraught. He has so many more tantrums then our daughter, his include throwing himself down and thrashing and screaming for an hour, and is impossible to calm. He never sleeps well, he is always up at least twice a night. Even for fun, he loves to throw himself down on the ground repeatedly, I have to tell him at least 50 times a day to stand up and walk, because he is content to crawl on his knees all the time because he likes crawling real fast and slamming them down as he crawls, they stay bruised or carpet burned.

He still has constipation issues because of his diet, he is on medicine to make sure he goes. I am thankful that we have caught it before school, but I worry about how much progress we will actually make before he is supposed to start next fall, I don't know how he will deal with other kids and being in a loud classroom all day.

With all that is wrong with him, he is still so wonderful... he smile always brightens my day, he is sweet and sensitive, and he is funny. He is very smart, he has the best memory. I wouldn't change him for anything, except for him to always feel secure and happy... he gets so frustrated with himself, because he can't figure out how to dress himself, or ride his bike, his motor skills are a wreck. I feel for him because he can't make friends, and loves to see the fire trucks, but can't stand to hear their horns or sirens, so we miss out on parades, the time where he can almost touch one... I don't want him to be frightened throughout his whole life, feeling like every time he walks out the door he will have an anxiety attack, or just be a normal kid, who can handle birthday parties or dances. I am hopeful this therapy will be a good start for us.

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