Baby Max and how FAR we’ve come
By McNall Mason (Max’s Mom)
I’ve told and written this story so many times I almost dread revisiting it at this point… simply because it was such a HARD time for me and my other two sons. I think I’m going to have to break this story up over time and let the story drip out instead of gush
Max was born on Dec 13, 2002. He was 4 days late but that was the worst of it. He was “normal”… normal weight, he could hear, he was healthy, normal length, no problems. Max was also my third child, so I was an expert at pregnancy and childbirth by then and there was nothing weird or strange about any of the 9 months he spent tucked in my belly… well except for that I was really hoping for a girl but I quickly got over that once I found out my “fate”
I came to terms with Max being on the autism spectrum when he was four. Before that, I really did know there was something “a little different” about him and Max’s dad regularly told him he was “retarded”, which I knew was not true. I’m sure that heartbreak and lack of support from Dad, made it easier for me to explain away, ignore and/or celebrate Max’s obvious differences from my other two kids.
He never took anything from off the floor and put it in his mouth (celebrate).
He didn’t sleep through the night until he was five (ignore).
He still wasn’t talking much by age three (explain it away: he was the baby of the family and his brothers talked for him).
I’m still amazed sometimes at how far we’ve come… the memories of Max spinning in circles, stiming, not talking, temper tantrums, refusal to do anything, eating only what he wanted sleeping on the floor on by the heater vent, staying up to play all night, drinking from a bottle (still) at the age of five etc – all those memories are still there, under the surface but the reality is … I survived a period of time that I didn’t think I could.
Comparatively speaking, Max is a breeze now. He’s effectively a regular kid and does regular kid stuff like playing with legos, and the kid next door, goes to school and complains about math story problems and writing, eats vegetables only because he HAS to and a million other things that make him just like neural typical kids.
So how do I know he’s still on the spectrum and hasn’t been miraculously cured??? … a million ways…