The Evolution of a Kaiden

Kaiden came into this world stubborn. Four days late and he refused to move. Making the doctors go in and retrieve him. Screaming before he'd even been fully pulled out there was no traditional It's a boy! Instead there was a gasp (which terrified me), followed by a "Oh wow, he is Gorgeous."

There was no floppy neck, he startled the doctor by lifting his head and turning to look towards his voice. His eyes were focused, he followed sound, he certainly didn't look like a newborn. No wrinkly little old man face, so long he had to be held with both arms. He didn't act like a newborn either, where was this sleep I'd heard tell? I mean I knew I'd be waking up with him often, but didn't he have to fall asleep first??

He did have one thing right with this whole newborn thing, the boy had the startle reflex down. In fact he was so good at it, he kept it up almost past his first birthday! Getting him dressed was an ordeal that ended with both of us in tears, and being born in October this made leaving the house rather difficult. 

As he got older the sleep still didn't come, but what did happen was screaming. Oh could he scream. Don't you dare swaddle him, but man you better keep him moving. His favorite location was in his cradle swing, on the fastest mode, in nothing but a diaper. I'm sure he would have preferred sans diaper but I insisted. 

He cruised before he crawled, he ran before he walked. 

Then we hit the big TWO.  

We had tantrums, we still hadn't found that elusive sleep, potty training was a no go. We suddenly had routines that Kaiden had imposed on US. Two hours every morning in his high chair with his breakfast and a video of Dr. Suess. This was not optional. Bedtime was a six hour ordeal. The only way he would sleep is if someone held him tightly until he gave up. He had a fascination with knives and would find them anywhere, try to climb the cabinets to get to them. 

It's the terrible twos, people said. Oh it's just the trying twos people said. 

But something wasn't right, he wasn't getting into everything. He wasn't testing boundaries. 

Then we got to three. Things should swing down now, right? Oh no, people said, just wait, three is worse. Fantastic, I thought, book me a padded room. 

I took a look at my child and I realized that this was not right. Something was wrong here. So I started the tedious journey into finding psychiatric care for my son. I wrote out a list of behaviors, his primary referred us to behavioral therapy and it helped a lot. I thought awesome, we can do this. They diagnosed him with Oppostional Defiant Disorder and possible ADHD. 

When it came time for Kindergarten, I knew that a traditional school was not going to be good for us. I was worried he'd be expelled honestly. So I looked into home school. I found out about Alternative Learning Experience. A.L.E. programs allowed him to be schooled at home, but still part of the public school system.  

As Kaiden got older, his behaviors weren't lessening with therapy. Now we had mood swings, anger, depression. Now we had violence and screaming fits. It was more like instead of growing out of the terrible twos, he grew into them. Things weren't adding up again, ODD didn't fit. ADHD didn't seem to fit anymore either. Now we've gotten the diagnosis of Early Onset Bipolar to add to his titles. I was quickly losing my son. This wasn't him, it was like something had taken over. Pod person style.

When Kaiden and I go out into town, we meet a lot of people. He will strike up a conversation with anyone, about anything, and absolutely anywhere. Most of the time he leaves them with the impression of an intelligent, well spoken, and well mannered young man. Because he is those things. He loves to make people smile, he loves making people happy. Sometimes, to an extreme. This part of his personality was a big stumbling block to getting a diagnosis. Yes he's hyper, but he's so polite. Yes he has poor impulse control, but he's not malicious. Yes he has trouble focusing, but he responds to correction. He has some aspects of Aspergers, but his social skills are exceptional. 

By now I have gotten so frustrated, shuffling between doctors and psychs. None who seem to know what to do. So my co-author tells me about her pediatrician. I'm ecstatic, she specializes in behavioral issues. No more dealing with psychs or therapists who don't seem to ever communicate with each other.  
Dr. Freedman was our angel. We started Focalin, and true to it's name he could finally focus. He went up four grade levels in reading in a year and a half. 

But we still had the behaviors, we still had the intense hyperactive behavior. We still had no sleep. No volume control or tone moderation. Impulsive to the point of injury. 

Out of pure luck, I was curious about a local ALE program so I went to a meeting with my co-author. I wanted to make sure that it was something that Kaiden could even participate in with his particular issues. 

I will always be grateful for going to that meeting, for meeting that woman who told us about Sensory Integration Disorder. She led us to a diagnosis that finally fit. She led us to Katie. Who said those magic words "I can help".

So as my co-author so aptly put it, now we have hope. 
After 8 years, we've found the right road and this is where our journey starts.

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