Our third child a son, whom we named Timothy, was a normal newborn with a sprinkling of red hair in January of 1992. Things went well with him until the third month of age when he got quite ill. He was admitted to our local hospital with respiratory distress. He would spend a week there most of the time in an oxygen tent.
It’s important to note that prior to going into the hospital he was on target as far as weigh and development goes. Being that he was my third child I had none of the worries that I had with my other two children. Timmy’s pregnancy went better then the first two did. So the whole experience went smoothly, until he went into the hospital at the end of his third month of life.
After he got home things started to go downhill and we were at the hospital more often then not with this tiny little boy who seemed to be very atypical of my other children or any other child I had known.
Things continued to go from bad to worse that first 2 years of his life and he spent more time in the peds unit in our local hospital. There were times we didn’t think he’d live, yes things were that critical. Ninety Nine percent of the time he was in there for respiratory distress, and once it was for the flu. He was delayed severely because he didn’t have the energy to do as he should be doing. He was also very anti- social but I think that stemmed from having too many people do medical things to him. Those things had to be done to save his life.
We were dealing with failure to thrive, as seemed to be too tired to eat, perhaps he just didn’t care. I know people will say all babies eat when you give them a bottle but Timmy would not eat, no matter what we tried. His formula was fine and did not give him gas, and sometimes he’d eat baby food but not most of the time. He screamed when people would hold him, and it didn’t matter who held him. He was very content to sit or lay next to you as long as you did not make direct eye contact or touch him.
Sometime during the middle of the third year of Timmy’s life I got tired of being told by the pediatricians that he was just slow but would catch up on his own. So I took him out of there and into family medicine at our local hospital and the first doctor a sports medicine doctor named Donald Phykitt, we seen was outstanding. He finally listened to me and a development specialist was contacted. He seen everything I was seeing and he knew Timmy needed help.
When we met with the development specialist I was floored to say the least. Some how our pediatric department missed some serious delays that I as a parent seen. An early intervention team was brought in to work with Timmy in our home. On their first visit here he was tested thoroughly and was found to be 22 months delayed on average across the board. I was floored cried for days; I questioned how God could do this as I am sure many parents do when they find out devastating news such as this do.
Then I got determined to help Timmy grow to his potential and be all that he could be. Everyday there was some sort of therapist at out home and I sat and watch them work with my son and I learned much. I used what they did and did it when they weren’t there and I did my share along with my two other children. His physical, occupational and speech therapists were excellent no doubt and they came once a week, but his general therapist Chris Little would work with him on everything and was here often. His speech therapists set a goal for him for 6 months in the future and Timmy met it in just 2 months. Within six months all the therapists except for the general therapist were gone, simply because Timmy was excelling with all the help.
When Timmy was almost 5 Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder was added to his diagnosis with a trip to a neurologist. A friend suggested I take him to see a chiropractor for the fine motor skills which were not coming along and there were 36 areas that showed up in the exam where things were not connecting. Most of them we adjusted back into place and Timmy could hang onto a pencil the correct way and he began walking better however there was still a big limp. So we went to orthopedic doctor at Geisinger Medical Center and after x-rays it was determined that his right leg was ½ an inch shorter then the left one. All that were prescribed were lifts that fit in his shoes because the distance was not so great and they thought he’d out grow it.
I saw his general therapist Chris who worked with Timmy from the age of 3 and a half until he entered kindergarten in Wal-Mart last year and what she said floored me. She said when she first began working with Timmy she never thought he’d do more then simple play. Most kids with his level of delays don’t improve like he did. Being almost 2 years delayed when you are just 3 and a half is very bad.
Timmy turned 15 this past January and he will always deal with these medical problems which have become more oblivious as he has gotten older he has never given up. He doesn’t let his differences get him down and stays upbeat. Today Timmy is one of the strongest people I know, most people would have just given up on him but I am so glad we did not give up on him. He is my hero in so many ways.
He will always struggle with some things but as far as the adhd goes some lights are on up stairs and some are not. He’s quite gifted in some areas and appears to be a ‘normal’ teen boy to everyone. His strength and determination has inspired so many people back here. Living with a special needs child can be frustrating at times but it can be quite rewarding to.