And Another Makes Two

Four months after I found out I was pregnant with my daughter J, I began to have concerns about my son PB’s development.

He wasn’t answering to his name, he avoided eye contact, and his speech wasn’t where it should have been.

After doing some of my own research, the same thing kept popping up.

Autism.

I fought hard not to accept that. There was no way my son had autism. I just couldn’t fathom that.

But several referrals, early intervention appointments, speech therapy appointments, occupational therapy appointments, and an ear tube and adenoidectomy surgery later, I found out that my little man indeed had autism.

There were no more what-ifs. We had it in black and white.

By the time PB received his official diagnosis at 3, J was about 18 months and showing similar symptoms plus some I hadn’t seen before.

I was familiar with the speech delays, not answering to her name and the hand flapping.

But J had amazing eye contact and loved to constantly tiptoe around the house. Something I didn’t see much with PB but knew the latter to be a symptom of autism.

I even asked the psychologist performing PB’s autism evaluation what he thought I should do.

In a very gentle voice, he told me that kids can develop leaps and bounds in just a few months time. He told me to give it until she was 2, and if I still had concerns, to come back.

I knew we would be back. I knew she had autism.

I remember speaking to her pediatrician about it, and soon after, I spoke to her early intervention therapist. Soon enough, she was in speech therapy and received a recommendation for occupational therapy.

Just like her big brother.

We just wrapped up her autism evaluation a few weeks ago.

I remember the days and nights when I cried and mourned the childhood PB wasn’t going to have. And now that J was in the same boat, my thoughts were all over the place.

Were my husband and I even capable of raising not 1 but 2 kids with autism?

I remember seeing a post somewhere, that said something like “I can’t even close a pizza box right but here I am in charge of other humans (kids).”

Yet, in my case, it was two special needs humans.

I cry-laughed so hard.

It seemed like a pretty big pill to swallow.

And the thought that both of them were going to have to deal with some pretty unique ups and downs scared me.

But a silver lining in all of this was the fact that they had each other to go on the journey with. And for that I was grateful.

They are two peas in the pod. Always have been. If you see one, you see the other.

Hence the nicknames, PB&J.

They are like any other siblings. They fight and get angry with each other. They also love each other and are so patient with one another.

When PB is upset in his car seat, he will reach for J’s hand to help calm him down. She lets him hold it as long as he needs.

When J is in the mood for one of her hugging marathons, PB is more than willing to let her hug him till her heart is content.

PB will not leave the house without J, and J cries a little every time I drop PB off at PreK. They play tag, they tickle fight, dance to wheels on the Bus and watch YouTube videos together.

For so long, people would tell me that J was going to be her big brother’s keeper. Under the assumption she was neurotypical, and only he had autism.

Now, the fact of the matter is, they both have autism, and they are each other’s keeper. I pray that they are always close and always have that very special bond that I imagine only a brother and sister who both happen to have autism can have.

I never thought about autism before I became a mom, but now it’s a HUGE part of my family’s life.

I’m constantly thinking about it.

It has not been a walk in the park by any means. I have cried myself to sleep many nights worrying and overthinking. But I like to say that we are living, loving and learning our way through it, and I am over the moon that God has blessed me with two of the most loving, smart and downright amazing little humans.

Written by, Ray of Mom Meets Spectrum

Hi! My name is Ray. I am a stay at home mom to two little ones on the autism spectrum. My son PB (3) and my daughter J (2). You can follow our journey at Mom Meets Spectrum.

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Finding Cooper’s Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you’re never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village….all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to our journey. You can also follow us on Facebook and subscribe to our newsletter.

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  • Robin

    December 19, 2018 at 12:30 pm
    Reply

    I really do know how you feel! I have two older children on the spectrum (17 and 12 years), and a toddler girl who is […] Read MoreI really do know how you feel! I have two older children on the spectrum (17 and 12 years), and a toddler girl who is just about to start speech therapy. I see symptoms in her that I want to deny, but can't. I wonder if I am strong enough to raise three children with special needs? But we take each day as it comes. Thanks for sharing this. Read Less

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Finding Cooper's Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you're never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village....all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to my page!

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