So a little bit about me, my family and why I decided to start this blog. My name is Elene and I am a 34 year old full-time pharmacist and mom. My husband, Martin and I, have been married for 8 years, but had our first date over 17 years ago (crazy!). We had our first and only child, Carter, almost 6 years ago. He is the happiest, most loving, sweetest kid you’d ever meet.
Carter was an easy baby – slept well, ate well, and hardly cried. He was reaching all of his milestones as well. He started crawling at 5 months, pulling up and cruising at 7 months and walking at 11 months. He was clapping, waving and interacting. However, we noticed at about 15 months old, his speech was not developing. He was too quiet – didn’t even babble really. My pediatrician, family and friends said he was developing otherwise and speech would just come later.
I decided to refer my son to early intervention for evaluation at 18 months and he was flagged as at risk for autism. I had my doubts about the results, but couldn’t deny his speech was not there, so we started speech therapy. Thankfully, the speech therapist worked with me on building a bond with my son and the importance of pre-speech milestones he needed to develop first. It wasn’t until I saw him – I mean really saw him – with other kids his age, that I realized they were right. He didn’t play with toys appropriately, wasn’t as social as other kids and wasn’t interested in others at all. So at 2 and a half, we got a diagnosis.
Since then, it’s been a whirlwind of therapies, schools, medications, supplements – you name it, we tried it. He seemed to be making improvements in everything except his speech. We had been doing ABA half-day and Pre-K half -day for the past 3 years and suddenly all-day kindergarten was glaring ahead, and we were searching for other options. We knew he wasn’t ready for all day public school, but we didn’t want to decide which was more important – school or therapy (at least not yet). So instead, we packed up and moved across the country to Columbus, Ohio, where we found an amazing school that has an ABA base, homeschool curriculum, and offers speech, OT, PT and music therapy all in one place (amazing, right?).
So that brings me to why I decided to start this blog. The reason is actually two-fold: one was so that our family in Oklahoma (both of our families are still there) can keep up with our lives and especially Carter’s progress and two was as I couldn’t find a blog written by a parent that had an christian take on dealing with the challenges that I was facing day-to-day. I felt God calling me (and this was confirmed by multiple christian women telling me) to share my story with others. I know that without God in my life, there is no way I could cope with the sadness that comes from learning your child’s life is going to be difficult and all the dreams you had are gone. But with God’s help, I’ve learned to live a life of joy and thankfulness, even when things are hard.