Sunday, January 18, 2009

Baby C (and friends)

Some of you have been asking how Baby C is doing these days. I appreciate your questions and concerns. Many readers here know that Baby C was determined to be autistic back in August. At the time, even though it was the second such diagnosis we had experienced as parents, and even though we are generally at peace with autism and all that goes along with it from a young family's perspective, and even though we were much more 'equipped' with information than the first time around, we still had great concerns about Baby C and his outcome.

I, for one, fully realize that autism is a different experience for different people. Some are more significantly affected by the disabling aspects of autism. Some are in environments that, combined with their autistic characteristics make things difficult. There are rough spots over the lifespan. Some have challenges or discomforts that their communication differences make very difficult to convey and to request help for. Some have co-occurring cognitive or physical disabilities. Some just frankly want to be neurotypical. The list goes on and on. Autism is not "all good", and as parents my wife and I worry all the time about Baby C and what challenges lie ahead for him. That goes for both of his brothers too, as with any parents and kids, but for Baby C and his older brother J, we have the added concerns of autism.

As of now, Colin is just a happy, growing boy. He has strong likes and dislikes, he is kind of obnoxious most of the time due to pretty constant 'loudness', and his happy moments shine brightly. During his first 12-16 months of life, there were precious few happy moments. He was, quite simply, the most challenging child I have ever met, seen, or even heard of. He almost brought us to our knees with his perpetual, um, er, .... discomfort with the world around him. It is a tremendous relief to see the improvement in his demeanor and enjoyment of himself and our family.

So here are a few pictorial updates of little Baby C (who is not really a baby anymore).
Fall comes late in Southern California, and these leaves just fell from our Mulberry tree over the last three weeks. Baby C loves when Mom rakes them into a leaf-pile!

C just had his 2nd birthday this past week! In our family, on the first birthday, the baby gets to "dig in" to their birthday cake with full gusto and no rules. In the case of Baby C, he showed utterly no interest in his cake on that first birthday. So we decided to let him have a chance at Round 2, and he certainly appreciated the offer. Note how our resident canines uderstand the concept of 'positioning' as they hope for some scraps to hit floor. Believe me when I tell you that their patience is rewarded more often than not.

Speaking of the dogs, any mention of Baby C would be incomplete without also caling to attention his best buddy - Marley. Marley is the Rottweiler/Lab mix on your right in this photo. He is still very much a puppy, albeit a 100-lb+ puppy. And he still tips the scales a few pounds lighter than old man Chance, who is often seen lying down as in the photo above. Marley and Baby C play together all day, and are best buddies. For a picture of when they first met, look here.
This photo shows Baby C surrounded by some of the wonderful people at REINS, where he is the youngest rider they have ever had. After a period of adjustment, he seems to have reached a point (on most days) where he genuinely enjoys riding horses. In case you are wondering ... that's a pretty small horse. And this picture was taken while we were still fighting the 'helmet' battle with him.


jypsy said...

Thanx for the update.

Niksmom said...

What wonderful pictures. It's clear he is "...just a happy, growing boy." Such a delight to see that adorable face and his four-legged pals. :-)

Liz Ditz said...

Lovely pictures of a lovely boy. Glad that life has become easier for him (and the rest of the family).

Urban Farm said...

Thanks for such a proud Dad summary of Baby C. Love the dogs, horses and baby. Grow Baby grow.