Who can believe???? Ryan turns 20!
I am one of those people who prefer to look forward instead of looking back. However, I thought that on such a memorable occasion, I should take a few moments and “look back” over my journey. As I started to reminisce I began to assemble an album from his past birthdays and other unforgettable moments.
As with any new Mom, the first few weeks and months of Ryan’s life seemed like a blur. I remember my Mother calling every day at 7:25am to see how he did through the night. Then, as if on a clock, he turned 3 months of age and slept through the night. Oh, how life improved!
Ryan began attending our Happy Hearts Infant child care program at three months. We had excellent staff so I felt very good leaving him in such capable hands. Of course, the fact that he was just down the block from my office and I could visit at lunch time made it so much easier. Before we knew it, we were celebrating his first birthday with his “classmates” at Happy Hearts.
Like all moms who are teachers, I dutifully recorded his milestones on a developmental assessment that we used with our children. He was right on his age level at 14 months except for his expressive language. So as a concerned Mom, I had a speech therapist, Kathy Vogt, evaluate him and she suggested that he enroll in a toddler language group.
From there, continued concerns led us to my brother Joe Barber, MD, a pediatric neurologist and a diagnosis of autism. Our journey had begun……
So 18 years later , I am looking back knowing that I am truly grateful for my family, my friends and the outstanding people who have loved him, nurtured him, and taught him . I set my expectations high and always believed that he would reach them. I know that he is the person he is today because of the intensity of his ABA program which for years we did during his every waking hour.Yes, there have been bumps on the road and I know that they will always continue. But I continue to believe that nothing is impossible, and as Audrey Hepburn so simply stated, “the word itself says I’m possible!”