The Diagnoses

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WOW!!!! Let me first start with a MASSIVE THANK YOU!!! I had no idea the response I would get from my post about our little man, but I knew I wanted to document the feelings for my own sake and his. To remind him and me that he is not defined by a diagnoses and you all blew me away!!! I had over 1,400 views in a day, from 20 different countries, so many personal messages, over 70 comments, and more calls and texts than I can count! You love, thoughts, prayers, and kind words have carried me! Thank you!

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With that being said I did feel I owed it to you all to let you know what we found out today. The bottom line is we had a fun day with minimal tears and Eli felt celebrated and loved which was most important to me. As I said yesterday Aaron is traveling so I planned to go alone with Eli to his appointment however, SO MANY people offered to join me. My dad was able to come which was wonderful to give me a second set of ears because I was honestly afraid I would be too emotional to retain the information needed to then share with Aaron.

To give those of you who haven’t experienced this some perspective, again this is our experience and I cannot speak for others, we met with this Dr. over two months ago to give initial concern, thoughts, observations, and to set his appointments. We then came back for Eli to have his evaluation a week and a half ago. They scheduled a 3.5 hour time for this but Eli made it about an hour and 15 minutes before they decided he was to shot to continue. The evaluation covers tons of stuff. I had to take around 15 pages of evaluations myself on what we have observed and then Eli did some testing on the computer to watch impulse and attention span, they tested facial and emotional cues, intelligence, general knowledge, social cues, and more that I am not including. Because of his weariness they were not able to get to intelligence, which honestly didn’t seem to concern them and for sure isn’t a worry of mine. He is sharp as a tick. (Is that the phrase? tick, whip, tack? Who knows! I always screw these things up. Aaron can attest.)

So I was pretty discouraged leaving that appointment because he was really ramped up and anxious. It is interesting though because from the start of this process I told Aaron and had been praying diligently that they would truly see who Eli was and have clear eyes to really evaluate him. I suppose it was a blessing he was having a bad day so they could see him at his “worst”, for lack of a better word.

Today we arrived and Eli was as calm as could be. We had to wait for about 25 minutes and during that time the fire alarm went off. IT WAS SO FREAKING LOUD!!!! Eli looked at me, covered his ears and declared “I am scared”. He then came straight to me let me carry him outside and away from the noise. I was so impressed!!!! I never know how he will respond to nose, fear or much quite honestly but he was PERFECT!

After getting back inside we were called back within ten minutes and the Dr. explained that she was going to be playing/observing him for the next 45 minutes and that she was looking for certain behaviors. If he didn’t show her what she was looking for she would ask me to get involved to see if I could get him to display the correct behavior. They shot darts, blew bubbles, played with a toy cell phone, had a pretend birthday party for a baby that Eli made a cake for, shared the cake with, sang to and helped blow out the candles. During this time I will admit I did get teary a few times. Watching your child play is so overwhelming. The pride you feel, the fear of all that is at stake during this play time, and the pure joy seeing him have fun.

Then we get to the diagnoses. Blah. I tried to call Aaron to see if he was able to step out of his meeting with no luck and I was bummed but 30 seconds later he called!!! yay! yay! yay! It is a perfect example of what a good man Aaron is. He is such a hard worker but he loves us fiercely and we are his priority. All that to say having Aaron on speaker phone was so good for me because it felt like he was there with me a bit.

She reviewed the different tests they use and let us know that even on Eli’s tough day he was borderline in a few areas for the Autism spectrum but nothing overwhelming. Also, in three of my four evals they saw no signs of autism but on the fourth they saw a few signs of the spectrum. OK, so…her diagnosis is ADHD. However the ADHD could either be masking autism or giving us false signs of it. Ugh. I am thrilled to have a diagnoses but like I told her I just want to know, be done, make a plan, and make it happen. While that is not our current story I am still thrilled to have something we can focus our attention on (no pun intended. ha!)

Of course her suggestion is to treat him with medicine and while I respect that suggestion and I am a believer in God’s sovereignty in modern medicine, this is where Aaron and I need to regroup, pray, seek counsel, and take ample time to figure out what is best for our little four, almost five year old boy. I can hardly believe that! Almost five!!

So there you have it. Treating the ADHD allows Eli then to focus and hopefully catch up in the areas that he struggles, but trying some more natural approaches while they may take longer could be a better solution potentially. Cutting out red and blue coloring from his diet as well as sodium something or other have be studied and have shown success. There are several different essential oil options, etc. We will meet with the Doctor again in six months to reevaluate the Autism signs but for now we are just focused on ADHD and how we can best treat that.

At this point Aaron and I won’t be sharing our treatment decisions online simply because I honestly don’t want to hear lots of opinions that either are for or against what we decide. We will make a very informed and prayerful decision together and those near us will know so they are able to care for our precious boy but again I would rather not give people more areas to judge me and my little boy. However, if you love us and have kind words, personal experience with either meds or not, you have a scripture, a prayer, a dad who is a doctor and you want to message me with kind and helpful ideas not slandering either side of the argument, I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU!

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He didn’t make it half way home before falling sound asleep

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Sweet boy looks so big while looking so small to me.

We ended our day at Eli’s favorite restaurant, Qdoba, celebrating our boy! Then off to target to buy him a new toy of his choice. He went with a Lightening McQueen tractor tipping track. Ha! He has been playing with it for the last hour and a half while I wrote this. Ha.

Oh I wanted to share and never forget this cute part of the day. After we were done and walked to the car outside the hospital. I buckled Eli up and said, “Eli, I am…”

He looked at me and said, “…so proud of you!”

Ha!!!! I guess I must tell him that a lot since he knew what I was going to say.

Now we are off to bed! Eli is so tired and I am so emotionally shot. I don’t even have the energy to drink a glass of wine. Ha. I almost fell asleep driving home while talking to my dad I was so exhausted. I promise to text, comment, and message every one of you back. I really will never be able to thank you enough for your kindness today and your outpouring of love, support and prayers!!! You were the body of Christ in a very tangible way.

Go snuggle your loved ones and remember to speak life over others and if you can’t do that keep your mouth closed! Cheerfully yours! Abby and family!!

My PERFECT Eli and a piece of his story!

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I have gone back and forth out writing this post but ultimately want to for my own reminder and to help anyone else who may be going through a similar situation. Tomorrow is a big day in the Wilkinson home. Our sweet and precious son Eli is FINALLY getting a diagnoses. This has been a journey that for me has seemed like forever. It started a year ago after recognized some major social differences in school (eating things like EVERYTHING; styrofoam plates, crayons, toys, etc., not really interacting with peers, quoting movies and shows instead of conversing) . There are not many who know we have been on this journey because I have been so fearful to share out of judgement.

Here is what I want to remember before these is a name put to PERFECT little man! He is a gift I never expected to love as much as I do. He was a true miracle born at 28 weeks, weighing less than 2 lbs and spending 67 days in the NICU before coming home to us. He is truly a dream come true and NO diagnoses can define him. I am crying as I write this for so many reasons. Fear, joy, sadness, anger and hope.

Fear of the future and what they will say tomorrow. Fear of what he might experience in school when kids can be mean. I want him to be wanted! (Sidetone: His current teacher is a true angel on earth to me! I really cannot say it enough. I fear so much him not being wanted and his teacher LOVES LOVES LOVES HIM!!! She prays for him, loves him in his differences, helps him grow and challenges him to learn! She is a true gift and will have lots of jewels in her crown in heaven because of the kindness she has shown my boy. Ok, rant over.)  Fear over me being a failure on his behalf. Did I do something wrong? Could have done something sooner? Is this my fault? I know I will cry no matter what they say. Ha. Shocker! I know, I am a crier.

Joy over all that Eli brings to my life. He is the most fun and so creative. He is BRILLIANT!!! He knows so much! All his colors, letters, numbers, and can literally quote anything he has seen or heard once. He LOVES to sing and that brings me so much joy!!! Books are his true favorite! He would sit with you and let you read to him for hours.

Sadness and anger go hand in hand for me here. I am both sad and fiercely angry over words that have been spoken about my son by people who are ignorant, hurt, or angry, people who don’t know my sweet sweet boy, but like to think they do. People have said we should beat him, get him under control and several have just off the cuff said, “have you thought of autism?”. He is NOT defined by these words!!! He is INCREDIBLE needing no explanation.

I feel sadness of any past or future struggle Eli will have in school, relationships, or internally. It has been hard to hear him called “special needs”. While I know he is special and he does require some needs that other kids don’t, he is still so spectacular to me! What I hope is that he knows daddy and I are ALWAYS PROUD OF HIM!!!! He is ours and we will do all we can to support and love him.

There are days that in selfish moments I am angry that this is a part of my journey. What did I do to make this happen? This is a lie and a temptation that is not glorifying to the Lord! I see other moms who make it all look so easy and I feel like I am dying. However, one of my sweet friends once told me that I was given Eli because I have just the gifts to help him. She is right! The special mommas get the special babies! I have been listening to the one person who said I was a “bad mom” instead of the COUNTLESS who have told me how great I am! Those are people who know me and my Eli! We are a great team! Sure we have off days like any mom and child but I have to tools to unlock Eli’s full potential because that Lord says so! He entrusted him to me and He gifts me everyday to help him. This again is not about me but my boy, I just needed a tiny venting moment.

Then there is HOPE! I feel so much hope! Tomorrow will be a great day regardless because we will be making progress for my boy. Like I said there is no diagnoses that I will not cry, but it is again all good. They could say he is ADHD, a premie boy that just needs to keep going through therapy to catch up, that he has Aspergers, or that he is somewhere else on the Autism spectrum and it will not change who my Eli is one bit!

IMG_2876 Here is what I know! He is fearfully and wonderfully made! He is a Child of King!!! He is my perfect gift and I would rather have his precious face in my life than not. He will change those he encounters! The people who really KNOW HIM, LOVE HIM!!!! We pray ALL THE TIME that he would be BRAVE and HE IS!! He loves FIERCELY!!! He is my favorite to cuddle with and watch/quote Bob the Builder, Thomas, Little Einsteins, or Octonauts. He gets the quoting from Daddy because I can’t quote a dang thing. He is NOT defined by the words of others but by what scriptures says he is!!! He might be “different” but as I have said so many times already, he is PERFECT!!!! He has so much to offer. Watch out world, Eli Xavier Delane Wilkinson is coming for you and you will never be the same!!!!IMG_2877

Moving forward I want to encourage those of you who like to think things about others, DON’T! You don’t know their story, what they have been through that day, how they are feeling, what type of journey they are on! We are all beautifully made! If for a minute we took time to stop focusing on others and just looked upward and inward it would be so awesome!!!! We can be encouraging instead of degrading! Speak life over other people!!! Speak life!!! If you are hurting don’t hurt others with your words but ask for help and speak life over yourself too!!! If you are hanging out with someone and you don’t know what to talk about don’t pick someone else or their innocent children!!!! Instead, maybe subscribe to the Skimm so you can talk current events, politics, the weather, sports, or even yourself. Truly anything but others!!!! If we were all for each other in this journey, life could be so great!!

I am off to snuggle my little boy who gets to sleep in my bed tonight because Daddy is traveling and I look forward to tomorrow. Tears and all. Ha! We will glorify the Lord whatever is spoken because Eli is PERFECT just as he is!

Also, sorry for the never ending post, I know there are others who are struggling with stories much harder, children dealing with cancer, a heart defect, loss of limb, etc. Even the loss of a child! You would give anything to have them back! This world is brutal! You are true angels on earth and I think of you and pray for you every day! I am not playing a victim or comparing our story to anyone so please know you truly are in my prayers and I think you are strong, wonderful and AMAZING parents! God bless you and your PERFECT babies!!!!