1. What makes you think Ty has Aspergers/Autism? What are some of the warning signs?
Early on we knew Ty was bothered by loud noises and large groups of people. Literally in the hospital when he was days old I realized I was holding a baby who needed quiet soothing, darkness, etc. I didn't know anything else at that point about taking care of a baby (at all) but I knew that he screamed non-stop unless it was dark and quiet. As he got older the only milestone he didn't reach was speech-related. His gross motor and even fine motor skills were average/on time, but he wasn't saying more than like 4 words at 18 months. Then he mastered 10 words at age 2...the bare minimum. Speech delay can be an early warning sign but if that's the only symptom it doesn't necessarily mean Autism at all. Ty also had acid reflux so he was unhappy when he was eating too-poor guy finally settled down when he was 6 months old. I used to blame his intensity on reflux but looking back it was definitely a combination of reflux and his sensory overload issues.
2. How early did you start noticing things that made him "different?"
Since he progressed normally physically we really only noticed that he was different when it came to language. So first indicators were around 18 months. He always had good eye contact, and was affectionate with us, two early 'red flags' that didn't apply to him. At each of our well-child visits with our doctor we would mention his flapping, (literally flapping like a bird,) to her and she would agree that it was a behavior often seen in Autistic children but that alone doesn't warrant further testing. He used to flap often-every time he'd get excited about something he was playing with. We were so used to it that it became part of him, nothing bothersome really until we were in a group of other kids and it would be something that stood out.
3. Do you ever "counsel" Sean? Does he respond well to that?
No and no. The few times I've used my counseling lingo in our conversations/arguments he picked up on it and would joke about me being the relationship authority. It would be a chance to regroup and calm down, which helped both of us get to the heart of the matter instead of beating around the bush.
4. How often does your husband travel?
Almost every week, a few days a week.
5. Where did you meet Sean?
We met at church. We were working with the Jr. High kids and were friends for three years before we ever dated. We were both gun-shy about relationships so for us, the friendship-first thing was what it took. Once we started dating, things quickly became serious since the foundation was there.
6. How much do you get paid to run ads on your blog?
Working with an advertising company doesn't support a family, let's put it that way. If you're looking for a way to make money, I think that you might want to look into something else. It's a fun way to make a little money though! If you love blogging anyway, especially.
7. How can I start running ads to make money with my blog?
See the ads over on the right side of my blog? There is a link to the BlogHer publishing network right there on the bottom of the pictures. Click on it and you can inquire about working with them.
8. Is it "normal" to experience anxiety on a daily basis if you're a mom?
Heavens yes it's normal! We've got a lot going on, you know. I think that it takes great discipline to avoid ever feeling anxious about our kids. It is possible to redirect your thinking so that it doesn't become a problem. I'm working on it every hour of every day!
9. What should I do if I think I have a problem with anxiety that I can't control?
Talk to your family. If they have mentioned to you that you seem anxious all the time then listen to them. Talk about what makes you feel that way with your spouse. See if there is something you can change, like if being in charge of getting everyone fed and ready in the morning leaves you frazzled, ask your spouse to help out with one of those things. If cooking dinner every night when you get home from work seems impossible, try to prepare things one day a week and freeze dinners for the latter half of the week. For me, communicating with the people in my inner circle makes all of the difference. If I get overwhelmed I tend to shut down and hide, not answering my phone, texts, etc. My good friends know this and will keep trying to get me to talk, never giving up. I love this about them! As much as I think talking about it will make it worse or add pressure, that could not be further from the truth.
If you feel like you can't make your mind shut off the anxious thoughts, talk to a mentor in your life and see if they can help you come up with solutions to the things that are causing you anxiety. The next step would be asking someone in your church for some guidance. If you don't have someone in place in your church to help then talk to your doctor about your overall health. My doctor always makes me think through my caffeine intake, sleep habits, and anything else that I am doing physically to combat the anxiety. You'd be surprised how lack of sleep can cause anxiety to take over! Everyone experiences stress in some area of their life and thankfully most can get it under control without medical or psychological intervention.
That's it for now!