I experienced many years of denial. I think the final slap in the face that made me realize that Lukie was autistic was when we had a neurologist diagnose him at age 6; he’s now 7. It took me years to finally accept this fact so that we could get him the proper help he required.
At age 2, I received the Regional Center number from his pediatrician. That was the last time I visited this pediatrician because I was so angry and in complete denial. Once again in preschool, four teachers and the school director informed me that Lukie had behavioral issues. But, once again, I shrugged it off and replied, he’ll grow out of it. Finally, Greg (my husband) and I had an IEP when Lukie was age 5. This test documents constant rocking, fidgeting, delayed speech, lack of eye contact and social skills. It was at this point that I put him on a GFCF diet (gluten-free, casein-free, soy-free diet). I honestly was skeptical about the diet. I had already opened Sensitive Sweets (a dedicated gluten-free bakery), but this was because of my other son’s (Bradley) food allergies which included: hives, eczema and vomiting.
With Luke however, we first removed gluten, then dairy 5 months later. I thought at the time, perhaps he’s just like Bradley and has food allergies; not autism. Well, he is autistic and he’s incredibly gifted. He will be a spectacular man one day – brilliant and shining in his own special way. He may not have a lot of friends, he may be odd and strange to others, but I am so blessed. He can walk, talk, and hug me. I love him so much. I finally understand what we each need. We need extra help in understanding how to communicate to him. As parents, we would be failures if we didn’t keep trying to help him. I’m excited to learn how to be a better mom for him.
Autism, last reported as 1 in 86 for children ages 6-17 in 2007, is today 1 in 50 in 2011-2012, according to a National Health Statistics Report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
I can’t help but get tears, because most of the time I hold it all in. I spent so much effort and time trying to get Bradley better and now we have Lukie to do the same for. But, I believe that this is what I’m supposed to be doing in my life. I know now that this is the reason I created this bakery; I was meant to do this for our family and for so many others in similar situations. Life can be challenging, but life is good. I have a terrific husband, and two of the most amazing little boys. Tragedy can happen at any moment and I think about this everyday – which is why I know I’m blessed. We have so much love!
Guest blogger, Melanie Hohman, is a proud mom and the founder of Sensitive Sweets – a dedicated Gluten-free and Nut-free facility. They do not make anything with wheat, gluten, or nuts. Located at 17431 Brookhurst St in Fountain Valley, CA, they are open Mondays-Fridays from 10am till 6pm and Saturdays from 10am-5pm. & closed on Sundays. Please call if you have any questions: (714)968-9169