It has been and still is a big struggle in our house with Jonathan and his personal hygiene, keeping his room cleaned, not taking food into the bedroom.
I can remember back on his first day of pre-k in 2002. he was fully dressed with back pack. He did not want to get out of the car. At first I just put it off as him not wanting to go to school. So I remember him laying on the ground and just throwing a tantrum. His first two days of pre-k were spent being in school suspension.
My husband and I just really thought he did not want to go to school and was acting out. It was not until the final parent-teacher conference of the year where I was shocked by the teacher’s observations and recommendations. When she first told me that Jonathan would not speak, did not know his colors or numbers. But after asking Jonathan to show the teacher the blue plate…her mouth hit the floor she was that astonished. It was at that point she recommended we take him to his doctor that there was something not right.
I immediately called his pediatrician and made an appointment. When the pediatrician said he believed that Jonathan has “selective mutism”. I was breathless. I could feel the color in my face getting redder. How could I not know this of my son. I am his mother why did I not see the signs. Was it because I was too close or was it because I did not want to think there was something wrong. I then asked myself what did I do that made him this way.
At this time the pediatrician gave us a referral to a specialist, one of only two between Jacksonville and Tampa. He happened to be in Orlando. Dr. Keeley is a doctor I will definitely not forget. On Jonathan’s first appointment he would sing all these weird crazy songs trying to get Jonathan to either react to them or sing them.
It was not until October 2009, 7 years later that we got the diagnosis of Asperger’s Disorder, general anxiety with OCD behavior, expressive language delay, ADD, Mood disorder and abnormal EEG with potential for partial seizures.
I always think to myself what could I have done different when I was pregnant with Jonathan….what did I do to have my son turn out different then the rest. Why was he not “normal”. Well it took me a long time but I have figured it out. Jonathan is normal….it’s me that is not. I have always told my friends that God wants me to work on patience. Because the good Lord knows I have little patience. This is the best way for me to learn it. Understanding Jonathan, learning how to communicate effectively to him is taking A LOT of patience. There are some days where my husband and I feel like we are figuratively beating our heads against a brick wall. Especially when it comes to Jonathan and his personal hygiene and keeping his room from becoming the next natural disaster area.
Jonathan then Jonathan now