The Tynes Family
Kathryn Tynes - Autism Parent
On July 8, 2015, a beautiful, healthy baby boy was born. Dylan Edward Jerman. He was born at 7:51 AM and was 21.5 inches long. He was a whopping 8 pounds and 13 ounces. He was PERFECT. After a miscarriage, a year of testing, and four fertility treatments, I finally had my healthy, precious child I was told I would never have. Blonde hair, blue eyes, and the ability to melt every heart around him. He was an amazing baby. Besides colic and six different formulas we had to try, he was absolutely amazing and everything I had ever wanted.
Around a year old, I started to realize that he wasn’t babbling or even trying to talk. He had said “mama” a few times, but then it disappeared. When he started to walk, it was on his tippy toes. He flapped his hands a lot and loved spinning things and lining up his toys. I could see the signs and I expressed my concerns to his pediatrician, but they said he was too young to diagnose. “What makes you think autism?” she said to me. All I could say was, “I just feel it in my heart.”
Fast forward to when he was 15 months old, we returned to his pediatrician where she then referred us to Weisskopf Center in Louisville for autism testing. “I know he has autism. But I can’t tell you that in a definitive diagnosis. He has to be tested in a facility”. The wait was long for his appointment and it dragged my heartstrings through the ringer. January 9th, 2017, after three hours of testing and a panel of different doctors and specialists, we had our answer. Severe autism. Level 3. Nonverbal. He would need help for the rest of his life, they said. “How do you feel hearing this?” one doctor asked me. “I knew it already, I just needed this to get started,” and then the official journey began.
Hearing tests. Vision tests. Motor skill tests. Paperwork – lots and lots of paperwork. I finally got Dylan into services at First Steps in Paducah. They would come to my house and work with him until the age of three, where he transferred his services to the school system he would be attending for pre-k. Early intervention was our absolute best transition into our journey of learning how to join Dylan’s world and help him on his own journey.
Dylan is now turning 7 and I can tell you that the diagnosis papers from when he was 18 months old doesn’t tell the story of the child I spend my days with today. I am blessed to be able to be a stay-at-home mom and help him with his progress every single day. He sings like an angel and mostly communicates through echolalia, though I can say that is changing everyday. He can now answer basic yes/no questions, request things, and cook his own pizza rolls. He is full of energy and life and I am often jealous of his “live life to the fullest” personality he shows every day.
Overall, Dylan is just another child who wants to be loved and live his life with so much joy and happiness. We are absolutely thrilled to have found Families on the Spectrum, and continue to progress through new events and opportunities that we haven’t been able to experience before on our own. Thank you for taking the time to read our story! We hope to continue to spread awareness and love that is AUTISM.