Friday, August 20, 2010

A Little Background About My Son

Before we get too far along in this blog, I should give you a bit of background about my son.

Kai was diagnosed with autism shortly after he turned two. At that time, he did not speak, made no eye contact, did not answer when his name was called, and did not respond to anything that was said to him. He rarely smiled, and got upset easily. Meltdowns were a daily occurrence at the very least.

As any parent would want their child to be happy and productive – or just plain normal – it was heartbreaking.

We began a rigorous regiment of behavioral and speech therapies, as well as biomedical treatments, most of which were either shunned or outright scorned by conventional medical practitioners.

Flash forward four years.

The Boy Who Did Not Speak has revealed an exuberant, chatterbox personality. His teacher said he was the leader in his class even though he was the youngest. His intelligence, so hidden when he was two that he could have been thought mentally impaired, has emerged with a flurry. This kindergartner does third grade math and reads at the second grade level. He learned the Hebrew alphabet in one week, and two weeks later had the Japanese hiragana alphabet down pat.

I don’t want to lead you to believe that everything is perfect. It is not. Kai still gets upset more often than we would like. He cannot easily tolerate change. Waiting is extremely difficult for him. He gets overwhelmed in chaotic places. He has difficulty answering questions.

And, because he now seems so “normal” in many ways, his autism is an invisible disability. To outsiders, Kai’s outbursts seem like those of a misbehaving child, rather than of a child who senses the world so differently from the rest of us.

On a day-to-day basis, when we’re dealing with our everyday challenges, it is easy to get caught up in all of our problems and to forget how far Kai has come. But, upon reflection, we see that it’s been quite a journey and he has made amazing progress.

On these pages, I hope to chronicle both the ongoing struggles and the successes in the months ahead. Thanks for coming along.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, Yuji. I'll be following this blog just to understand the unfolding story of Kai and your family. Thanks for sharing it.


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