Maximus the Great: An Update

So many of you have shown such an outpouring of love during this process of diagnosing Max with potential autism. I’m getting lots of questions, suggestions, advice, and just love so we decided to dedicate an entire series of the blog  to Maximus the Great.

It’s been quite the journey the last several months. I first shared about my son having tested high risk for autism in a letter to him (which truly, was meant for me in a self reflecting way). Since then I got lots of feedback, majority was great, others weren’t so happy that I’d expose my life like that, especially since this is my son’s journey, not mine. But the truth is, it’s NOT just my son’s journey. It’s the whole family’s journey. It’s Ezri’s journey when he gives her a huge hug that doesn’t suffice to express his love for her, so she gets a love bite. It’s Octavius’  journey when Max gets frustrated with the game they’re playing so he hits and throws all the pieces on the ground. And of course, it’s mine and my husband journey every day. Every word he say, how structure the way we speak to Max so we don’t overwhelm him. Like saying “Ok, let’s get ready to go,” when we’re actually NOT ready to go, so Max runs to the door, but neither one of us has our shoes on, thus igniting a meltdown.

To make a long story short, Max’s old Daycare/Head Start did all they could to accommodate him when he transitioned into the Pre-K rooms, but warned that kids like Max weren’t successful in there. They kept his big bro in the room even though he’d aged out, they added a teacher in the room, they let him do his own thing when everyone else was in circle time, etc. But alas, sixteen Pre-Schoolers cannot be expected to understand much less accommodate what a kid like Max needs, so we had to remove him from the situation while his brother continued.

So it’s been Max and I (and sometimes Grandma when I have meetings) at the house. And I’ve seen such improvement. He’s speaking more, he’s biting less, he stresses out less-it’s good. But it isn’t permanent. I have amazing clients who are so flexible and understanding of my current situation, but he needs to be prepared when the time for Kindergarden comes. So we’re stuck in the waiting game, like so many others. Waiting for the next appointment to tell us what we likely already know. But it will be so great and such a relief to hear it from a professional’s mouth. I’ll remember to tell myself “be patient” the same way I tell Max and his siblings, while the school district gets to us in the long line of names awaiting assessment.

Until then, we’ll be learning more about each other and this world we live in together. We’ll discover that dollar store pool noodles, chopped into small donut like sizes serve as great (cheaper) ball pit alternatives, moving heavy laundry baskets around the house is a fun way to get sensory input, and that maybe I’m not such a terrible mom for letting him watch YouTube videos while I work, because he’s actually repeating words, and mimicking the social behaviors he sees in them. I’ll learn to be kinder to myself and more patient (I seriously just deleted “patienter”-lack of sleep, much?) when we’re having a bad day and I just can’t understand why this particular cheerio under his foot is making him scream, when yesterday, it was hilarious.

So stay tuned for more of Mommy and Max’s adventures. I hope to share more of our stories, so we feel less alone and cause we have the most supportive readers, friends, and familia!


-Esposa Janeli

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