A Family’s Walk With PDD NOS
Today, I interview a dear friend of mine, Sandra Rogers, whose son has a form of Autism, called PDD NOS. If I understand this condition correctly, it means that Sandra’s son, A.J. has some symptoms from various disorders on the Autism Spectrum, but not all of them, and is not considered classically Autistic. Perhaps Sandra will be kind enough to shed some light on this condition.
Maxine: Sandra, how old was your son when he was officially diagnosed?
Sandra: Around 5 years old I believe
Maxine: Was there a specific age or incident at which you knew that something about A. J. was a bit different?
Sandra: It was right after he received his MMR vaccination around one year of age.
Maxine: Did you and your husband immediately accept the diagnosis, or were one or both of you in denial for a time?
Sandra: There was no denial on either of our parts. We really don’t let a diagnosis define our son, it doesn’t change the way we look at him or love him. He is perfect the way he is.
Maxine: Sandra, we would appreciate it if you could tell us more about PDD NOS. What makes this condition stand out from other forms of Autism?
Sandra: There really are no specified differences. They gave our son this diagnosis because he fit some of the characteristics of Autism and they didn’t know what else to classify him as having.
Maxine: I know that your son does not sleep very much. How much would you say that he sleeps, on average, in a 48 hour period? How do you deal with the lack of sleep, and do you have any trouble functioning during everyday living because of it?
Sandra: There is no average I can give. It varies greatly every night. There have been times and still continues to be where he is awake 24-48 hours straight. He has a very hard time getting to sleep. As far as my lack of sleep, well it’s just something you learn to accept. I am tired all the time but that is just par for the course.
Maxine: I know you have chosen to home school your children. How much of this is because of A.J.’s needs?
Sandra: I really cannot answer that because I really couldn’t say if things were different if that would have any impact on my decision to home school or not. I love home schooling my children, God has blessed me with the ability to be able to do so and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Maxine: What have you found to be the most difficult challenges of A.J.’s diagnosis? Is it the day to day living, the outside world, plans for the future, or something else entirely?
Sandra: I really don’t look at life that way. We all have challenges in life to get thru, having a child on the spectrum, is it hard? Yes it is but I am so blessed to have my son and I love the person he is and who he is becoming as he grows. I wouldn’t change a thing because that would mean he wouldn’t be the person he is today and that is the person I fell in love with 9 years ago.
Maxine: If you could say anything to the world about your son, and Autistic people in general, what would you say?
Sandra: The only thing I would really let the world know is that a diagnosis of Autism doesn’t define who you are or your worth as a person any more than having diabetes or any other condition. Everyone wants to be treated with respect and loved. We all have our struggles in life and what matters most is who you have beside you to help you get thru them.
Maxine: Sandra, thank you so much for taking the time to visit my blog, and for allowing us to glimpse something that is obviously very important and close to your heart.
Sandra: Thank you for having me.