Thursday, August 22, 2013

learning the a-word

Tomorrow, I will get up at 430 in the morning.  I will take care of breakfast for The Lovely Steph Leann and the likely sleeping Campbell Isaiah.  I will cook his breakfast, probably of two eggs, and maybe a banana, maybe some avocado or blueberries.  He also has some baby vitamins he takes, so there's that.

He'll wake up, and I'll take him and feed him while The Lovely Steph Leann gets ready.  Then, around 645 in the morning, we'll pile in the car and head out... headed to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, about 45 minutes from The Cabana, our home here in Birmingham.

Our son, Campbell Isaiah, probably about 16 months
when this was taken...
Tuscaloosa... the home of the University of Alabama Crimson Tide.. according to many people, also the home of 7, maybe 8 national titles.  According to most, its the home of 14 national football titles.  According to the diehard Roll Tiders, the home of 277 national football titles--some of them have been awarded strictly because Bear Bryant lived.  Such is.

We won't be headed to a football game though... I will say, I've seen two football games at Alabama from the student section, and its unbelievably cool...

The Lovely Steph Leann, a graduate of the UofA will surely have lots of tales to tell as we drive through, including that of wrecking her bicycle--The Purple Passion--in front of an incredibly hunky Jay Barker.

But no, again, we aren't looking for memories and stories.

No, tomorrow morning we are taking Campbell to a clinic on campus to be screened.  An evaluation.  For autism.  The A-word has made its way to our immediately family.

The kid is over 20 months old... he'll be 21mo in about a week or more, on September 1st, but he's currently tracking at a communication level of a 9 or 10 month old, if that.  What does that mean?  That means, take an infant 1/2 of Campbell's age, put them side by side, and they will communication the same way.

Campbell doesn't talk.  Not a peep.  He may or may not have said the word "Eat!" a few weeks back, though I am thinking that was a reoccurring sounds of "eet!  eet!  eet!" and so on. He squeals a lot, makes motorboating sounds, drools like a fountain, and sometimes will toss up a "ka" or a "ba" sound... nothing that resembles "dada" or "mama", though.

Many parents, well intentioned, have told us, "Oh my kid didn't talk until (fill in age here), so you probably don't have anything to worry about!"... but its beyond talking.  He doesn't communicate.  He doesn't point to things he knows or recognizes.  He doesn't tell us what he wants, other than the seemingly obvious "hungry" and "tired" signs... even then, it can be a bit confusing. 

We noticed early on, maybe around 8 or 9 months, that he wouldn't look at you when you held him and talked to him. He would look everywhere but at your face.  He didn't start walking until well after a year old, and then wouldn't come to you when called. 

We decided to get his hearing checked... it turned out fine, but kinda of the cusp of fine and not so fine... they recommended he see a specialist for his developmental issues.  We did that, and learned about his delays.  And more than one specialist and/or doctor has recommended he been screened for autism.

So... tomorrow we go.  I don't imagine we'll know anything in a day, we might have to go back.  But they will do a psychological evaluation on him--don't ask me how they do this for toddlers-- and that will go a long way to determined our next steps.

The Lovely Steph Leann isn't really scared, as she has long thought that there are issues.  Me? I'm a little scared of the whole thing.  So, we shall see...

I'll be doing an update to this post soon, perhaps over the weekend, perhaps next week... whatever journey we are on, we are just beginning with Campbell...

Thanks for reading my rambleness...


  1. I know that has to be scary...fear of the unknown is the worst sometimes. I am praying for you guys!

  2. Thank you, Pam! We know it will be okay, no matter what!

  3. Praying over your journey now.


  4. No diagnosis will sum up who your sweet Campbell is. Your child is a person first, and I'm sure a delight for you, wherever he may be on the spectrum of milestones met. Thanks for sharing your story--you aren't the first and you won't be the last. Praying for the peace that passes understanding and for a special sense of community--both here and where you find yourself down the road.

  5. David and Steph, tears stream down my face as I read this. I know the fear and anxiety that can creep in as a parent-however, fear is NEVER from God, therefore, we know the fear ALWAYS comes from the Father of lies...our enemy. God has given Campbell to you because He knew you were the PERFECT choice for him. That doesn't mean we are perfect, of course, but God doesn't make mistakes. I know you already know that. I have been and will continue to pray for you guys and for Campbell and his doctors. I thank God Campbell is healthy and happy. As you guys help him to communicate his needs and wants, I pray for supernatural patience and peace and love. I pray that you guys connect to him deeply, even if it seems there isn't a good connection on his end. So many things to pray for. I will be reading more about autism so I can be of more support to you guys...IF that is, in fact, what is going on with Campbell. Love you guys so much!!!!

  6. Thanks for sharing this. I have two little boys. One a year and the other will be 3 in Sept. They bring me such joy. If we were going through these steps with either one of them I would be so scared. Even though they would still be my boys no matter the outcome. Even though I know everything would be fine. I'd still be scared. Praying for you and your family!

  7. Praying for you all David. God holds you all in His Righteous Right Hand-take comfort dear friend. Love you guys!

  8. Praying for you guys! My sister and I will be taking her 24month old next week to Johns Hopkins to be screened. It's a scary process but we know Dominic is still Dominic, no matter what the doctors come back with. We will be praying for you, your wife, your son and the doctors.

  9. Praying for your family, David!
    Thank you for sharing this with us. :)

    - May

  10. Praying and hoping for the best. I have a 17 yo with Aspergers and know how the not knowing what is wrong can be almost as painful as the knowing. Contact me at my blog if you have any questions.

  11. It's been 9 years since we sat across from a doctor as that word rolled effortlessly off his tongue. Like he didn't even skip a beat and at the same time our beat stopped all together. And honestly, it was gone for a little while.

    But not forever. We developed a new beat. It's different than we had ever planned and to others it often times looks like it's falling apart more than it's coming together. But that's ok.

    Praying for you and your family. No matter what you hear, trust your heart, your heart knows that no A word will ever change the way you love him.

  12. We're all thinking of you and your family, David. Thank you for sharing so openly.


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