This is Mr. Ryan... Eric Ryan, named after his Daddy and well, I just liked Ryan. At 4 months of age, Ryan had an eye that would go opaque-sky blue every time he had a cold. The first honest-to-goodness pediatrician we asked about it at 2 months old simply turned off the lights, shone a penlight in his eyes, and said, "well his eyes are dialating properly" and asked if it went away. I said that yes, it often came and went, and he said not to worry about it.
Fast forward a month or so, and Ryan had a bad cold. He had a fever, and I took him in to see our general MD in Fairfield, Dr. Orms. Of course, Ryan's eye was cloudy to the point you couldn't see a difference in his pupil or iris. I wasn't concerned because that pediatrician had told me it wasn't a big deal. Dr. Orms quickly yet calmly told me he'd like to have another doctor look at his eyes. After another look, Dr. Orms quickly ushered us off to Children's Medical Center in Dallas to the opthalmology clinic without even a chance to go home and grab some more formula. Ryan's eyes were filling with the fluid buildup we all get when we get a cold. His tearducts hadn't fully formed, and since this fluid couldn't drain it was going straight into his eyes.
Fast forward again, and Ryan was not speaking more than a couple of words at age 2. Concerned, Eric and I called Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) and through the Klaras Center in Waco we received speech therapy. Through this organization, we started learning that Ryan had other problems. We had no idea what was normal and what wasn't, because we were first-time parents. It's easy to tell you this now, but at the time I wanted to tell these people that there was NOTHING wrong with my sweet boy, thank you very much... he just didn't like them! Needless to say, I got over that.
My husband got a new job in Groesbeck, Texas and we moved, but kept our speech therapist. Turns out she wasn't just and employee of ECI, but also the speech pathologist for Groesbeck ISD. This is just one of many, many ways God showed His hand of providence in this time. I was incredibly pregnant with our second child, Ryan was almost three, and we moved. I have a knack for moving in the ninth month!
We got a call when I was in the hospital having Richie that Ryan was invited to attend summer school. Immediately, Ryan started wanting to communicate more! Enrolled in full-day school at three... this was not what I'd imagined, but little did I know this was going to be a theme. In November of that year, at three years of age, Ryan was diagnosed with Autism.
Parenting Ryan has been challenging, but I would not trade him for the world. He has taught me more about being a Christian, a mother, a wife, and just a human being in his short life than I could ever have learned by myself. Ryan is going to do great things... Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that God has a plan and purpose for him, and I believe that he is going to do great things! God has big plans for you, buddy Ryan!