Where’s Nadia?

Where’s Nadia?

Lately, I have been receiving quite a few inquiries asking for new crochet video tutorials. So many of you have been kind and thoughtful to reach out to ask if everything is ok simply because I haven’t posted videos or new content for a while. A lot has been happening and many of the recent events have made it difficult to find time to post or film.

We are halfway through a rough year.

Covid quarantine had already hindered my video production because it was difficult to film, travel, get together with my parents to help with my posts. During this time, Nate and I noticed Nas was not meeting his baby/toddler milestones. We chalked it up to being so isolated from other kids and lack of activities because who has any data about raising babies during a pandemic? Naturally, we didn’t want to think there was anything amiss, but over time we noticed Nasir was falling further and further behind on meeting these markers. He wasn’t responding to his name when called, he was transfixed on specific shows, his attention span was non-existent, he had no fear of danger, he wouldn’t parallel play, didn’t listen, didn’t make eye contact, began hitting aggressively because he was unable to communicate only a few words, he had very little verbal skills and much of what he gained would be lost after one or two days. Yet, here he is so silly, adventurous, funny, smart and just being our cute little Nasir in so many other remarkable ways, we didn’t know if these things we were observing were ok or should we be concerned? He is our first child, so we had no way to fully know.

One or two of these things would be no cause for alarm, but we started adding up more and more then questioning more and more until we couldn’t deny the fact that we might be dealing with something more than just the lack of socialization because of the stay at home order.

Tests, Tests, and more Tests

We took Nas to doctor after doctor, therapist after therapist and to make a long story short, the doctors and specialists have told us he is on the Autism Spectrum. In some of his abilities, he is excelling and is testing in a much higher percentile. In other ways, he is testing quite low. He is struggling with language the most which he is currently testing at an 8-9 month level. He is almost 26 months old at the time I’m posting this. Nate and I felt heartbroken at first, but not for long. We put ourselves into 5th gear and did all the things within our power to make things easier for Nas.

 

Our lives are turned upside down

We have speech therapy and occupational therapy in home (Finally! It was virtual for the first few months because of Covid) The therapists we have in-home were instrumental in pointing us in the right direction to get Nasir the help and support he needs. We were recently approved for even more early intervention programs which we have learned are extraordinary in what they are able to do to help Nas. We are hopeful and optimistic. Although we have to wait a short bit to enroll him for those programs, there is a beginning in sight!

Oh my heart…

Nasir is our whole world. His struggles and his energy have kept our hands and hearts full. There has been little to no time to do more than take care of him, keep up with his never-ending energy, and get him the best resources we can to help him navigate this challenging path. Our entire life has been devoted to his care and to the success he can achieve by this early intervention. I know that this is a process and I have to trust the process, but I am not going to lie, I have cried a million tears, I have filled out thousands of pages of paperwork, I have made a hundred phone calls and some days it still doesn’t feel like enough. I have some serious mom guilt. I can’t even describe it. We are tired, worn out, frustrated at times, hard on ourselves, you name it, we have felt it. I don’t leave the house for days because it’s just too much. We go to my parents’ house for a break from time to time because they are such a big help for us when we are exhausted.

This has tested us as parents, it has tested us as a husband and wife. But at the end of the day, we have this incredibly sweet boy who needs us SO much. Our hearts explode with the love and need to keep him safe and happy and do whatever we can to get him to reach all of his potential. One day, we are hopeful that we may hear him say Mama and Dada..

One day at a time

I haven’t forgotten about my YARNutopian family. Quite the contrary – in fact, I actually feel so anxious to get back to my crochet, but I simply have to sacrifice something in order to manage life right now. I am still working, but very minimally. I still check in every day and post older links to some fun patterns I’ve shared in the past. I have great expectations in the mornings, but by mid-day I am wiped out by the challenges we have in our home at the moment. This is hard.

I am currently working on a new crochet project. It’s going at a snail’s pace, but it is going. I am trying to navigate this new chapter of our lives while giving myself some grace to be ok with the status quo. When the time comes, Nasir will have some one-on-one time with specialists who will provide what he needs to help him talk and reach his goals, then I will have a few hours each day of respite to get back to crochet. In the meantime, I appreciate your patience, support, and understanding as we keep moving forward. Please continue to watch my videos, visit my blog, and support my pages. I promise, I will be back.

With love and hugs,
Nadia

 

73 responses

  1. Nadia , he is adorable and he looks like the both of you but I think more like his dad !!! I know each day is a challenge for both you and your husband but I can’t think of better parents for Nas than the both of you !! With the support from your family as well as the Drs and Therapist I just know your handsome young man will reach his goals , every single one of them !! Much love , Neana

    • He is beautiful! You and your family are amazing. You are strong and blessed. You’ve got this!

    • I will be praying for you and your family! I love and breathe crochet so I know how devastating that must be since you are an amazing crocheter and I have learned so much from you!! So sorry, you are going through so much right now!! You have not not will be forgotten! Can’t wait for you to come back!! God bless and God speed!!
      Your fellow crocheter Cheri!

    • I’m sure you don’t really need any advice but I found a really good vlog that might be of help to you. I have learned an awful lot about Autism from them. It’s called “fathering autism”.

      Best of luck and keep remembering to take care of your marriage first.

  2. Nadir is a beautiful little boy with two amazing parents! I have missed your expertise and your smile and I am glad to hear from you. I will be praying for all of you on this journey.

    • My son was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome back in 1995 when it wasn’t really recognized in the state of Minnesota, the school had to label him as Autistic in his school chart. We didn’t care as long as he was getting help. Today, he is a thriving College graduate that drives, owns a car and has a Full time job. The Specialist Doctor that diagnosed him after many many tests told us “Remember, you are your child’s best advocate!”. We have lived by this statement throughout the years. Bless you!

  3. Nadia,

    You have a beautiful family. Autism is nothing to fear. I know this is a time transition and there may be obstacles along the way but it sounds like you are already on the right track and you definitely know how to overcome when the going gets tough. My love to you all and thanks for letting our community know your trials and needs so that we can continue to wish you well and lift you up!

  4. Oh what a hard journey you are on. He is a lovely little boy and you went through so much to have him, he is so lucky to have parents like you two. I hope things will get easier soon.

  5. I am so sorry that you have to go through this with your beautiful little boy. Please find a support group that you and your husband can join. I know it will help to talk to others who share the same trials you are going through. It helps and it will be informative as well.

  6. Prayers for you, Nate and nas. He is precious! Everything will be fine. Breathe, long hot baths and plenty of coffee and sleep will help you two cope with the tough days. ♥️

  7. Ah, it was very strong to share that with us. You do have your priorities in the correct place. It is a struggle to learn to parent in general and takes such patience and unconditional love to also learn how to accept and support special needs. I was a primary and early childhood teacher and understand that this takes such energy. You have a strong support system. Don’t hesitate to lean on them. Also take care of yourselves because you need to remember your love of each other too. Love to you and your family

  8. I’m going to say a simple thing that really says so much. You are going to be okay.
    My grandson is deaf and has some challenges. I tell my daughter this simple sentence and she says it helps every time.
    God only sends his little ones with special needs to special parents.
    You got this.
    Thank you for sharing your story!

  9. Hang in there!! It will get better, maybe not easier. (Unfortunately) My daughter is on the autistic spectrum. It is very overwhelming at first and very difficult and isolating. You feel as though your all alone. Remember your not alone in this. Your path may be different, but your never alone. Ask, there are others in your community going through the same thing and feeling the isolation. My thoughts and prayers, Sarah B

  10. I can’t help but notice you’ve tagged this post with ABA therapy, and I would desperately implore you to do more research into the dangers of this therapy. I’m an autistic adult, and I’ve seen the incredibly harmful long-term effects of the way ABA is practiced. Please, please look into information from groups run by autistic adults, as they are the people best positioned to set Nasir up for the kind of bright future autistic people can have. I highly recommend ASAN – the Autism Self-Advocacy Network as a starting point, as well as autisticmama for more parenting focused resources. It’s important to take in information from people who have lived our lives on the spectrum, and have seen the best and worst of what’s out there. You’re a wonderful person and your tutorials have helped me immensely, and I want absolutely nothing but the best for you and your family as you start this journey. Just seeing the words ABA therapy chills me to the bone, and I desperately hope you’re able to find a pathway for Nasir that will help him achieve his full potential without subjecting him to such a harmful and dangerous treatment.

    • Thank you so much for writing. I was told ABA therapy was the technique the therapists wanted to start with, but also there’s room to change things up for what Nas is most comfortable with. I will definitely be looking into ASAN. I appreciate any resources and advice you have to help him learn. We do a lot of song singing and matching games. Tons of playing to learn. I meet with the therapists again next week to start the enrolling process for the new therapy called Reaching your Potential. Every step I take, I ask myself if this is the right thing to do, and lately I’ve been so unsure because this is so new to us… I would hate to to something that could potentially be harmful to him. He is my whole world.

  11. I am so sorry to read about your darling boy and hope that you will receive all the help and support that is available. You are in my thoughts and prayers x

  12. Nadia as a mother and grandmother I can feel and understand you feelings for the situation you are undergoing. Have faith in the therapies they are offering you, it will take time but everything will get better. You have a beautiful, precious child and that you must thank your Gods for. We can patiently wait for your blog, just let us know how you are doing. I have followed you for many years and you are a strong woman who will forge ahead. Love to you and your family, our prayers will be with all of you, Carmen

    • You got this girl he has two loving parents I know it is hard but he is so blessed to have the family he does I will keep you iny prayers

  13. Do not ever ever give up. It will be hard but you will always get through it. My son is also on the spectrum and also has epilepsy. He wasn’t diagnosed for a long time but deep down I knew so I started my own therapy with him until he was able to get it at school and through our insurance company. He is doing amazing. He will be 18 and graduating high school next year. He brings home A’s and B’s in regular classes but less students. I am so proud of him. Please feel free to contact me if you ever have any questions or just want to talk. I used to cry so much because I felt that it was because of me. Took me a long time to get passed that but not once did I stop trying to help him. My prayers are with you.

  14. The blessing of finding out when he’s young, my son, was diagnosed with Aspergers at age 9, with the mind of a much younger child. Yes your world has flipped out and he will have his ups and downs. All i can say and that what i did was to take it one day at a time. Many prayers for your family, and get many respite care , where i live, i didnt have that much. Because it wares you out mentally. Im so sorry you have to go through this. Many hugs!

    • Dear Nadia, can only imagine what you are going through but with the support of your family and the professionals, you will get through this difficult time. Try not to beat yourself up over `mum guilt.` you are loving parents to a very special little boy. Sending big hugs to a special lady xx

  15. You have definitely been missed and, now we know, for good reason. You and your family will be in my prayers. I do not have an autistic child, but I have a grandson with Down Syndrome and possibly (probably) on the Autism Spectrum, He is 11 and still does not speak, as well as having other difficulties with noise, sensory issues and anger. I follow a blog called Finding Cooper’s Voice and she has quite a following of mamas and they discuss coping mechanisms (for you as well as the child). I find it quite interesting. If I may, I would recommend you check it out. It may help you deal with all the feelings you are having right now to see how others have coped. I wish you well and will continue to pray for you. You are such a beautiful family.

  16. Nadia, I know I am just a comment in a stream of comments. But I am a single mother of four. One is on the spectrum. I will tell you it was hard, I am not going to lie. Appointments, so many that I just boycotted Drs. LOL I WILL tell you, that you stay strong. My son(who I thought would live with me forever) is an amazing young man. I am proud of him everyday. What I did…I educated myself. I worked with what worked with him, tough love, hugs, understanding, and an insane amount of patience. You and your husband, do not forget to put your self first. You are no good to him, if you and your husband are not mentally healthy and strong! It is NOT your fault. Nothing that you did has created this. You make sure that LIttle Nas learns to communicate through any means, picture cards, sign language..any means, this well help alot! I KNOW you can do it! You have an amazing spirit!!!

  17. I will be keeping all of you in my prayers. You’re doing all you can for your son, and you’re an amazing mom. Family comes first, always! We’re here for you.

  18. I know what you are going through. I have a 14 year with ASD. It takes a lot of time and Patience , but worth every minute of it. Hugs 🤗

  19. I am so sorry to hear all the hardships you are going through with your precious baby boy, but know that there is so much help for you out there and there are many people praying for you and your family. You will get through this and look back and wonder how you did it. Stay healthy and strong for yourself and your sweet family, 🤗😘🙏🙏

  20. We could drown in guilt if we let ourselves but that has never really helped anyone. You seem to be doing everything right so no need for guilt. As for the crochet community – we can wait till you are truly ready to get back to us. No rush whatsoever. For now use crochet as self-therapy if need be. Because we would rather you be happy and at peace than anxious about getting back to us with new patterns.

  21. Nadia, I read your story and see so much of my grandson in your beautiful little boy. My grandson is 16 now but was just a little younger than Nas when we began to notice his missing milestones. There is a wonderful group on Facebook called Joseph’s Autism Journey. Joseph is 18 now, but has very many followers and lots of advice. My grandson is severely autistic, nonverbal, but that does not mean that all children on the spectrum are the same. There is always hope. Wishing you and your family all the best..

  22. Sit back and relax. My son Cyrus was diagnosed with moderate retardation. He has autism. Learned to speak and potty train at 5 1/2. Is graduation high school. A very intelligent young man. With a child on the spectrum, you will get frustrated teaching but they learn in their way. Eventually you will sit back give him time. The schools pushed my son to learn the way they taught. When they finally gave up and Cy started learning his way. It way amazing.

  23. I have been following you for a long time because I absolutely love how amazing your spirit is. Nasir is such a gift and you guys are great parents! I am excited to see what you are working on for the new project but have no problem waiting. Family is always first in my book <3 Be well <3

  24. You’re dealing with challenge but you’re getting him the help he needs early and that will be such a blessing for you all. My great nephew was also lives in the autisum spectrum but he’s now ahigh school graduate and is working & attending college. It was found out when he was about 3 so great things are possible when you care and work with your child.

  25. Thank you for taking the time to let us know what is going on with your family. I am so sorry you have to go this challenge . It is very difficult but u are all doing the right thing by Nasir. U as parents are doing everything in ur power to provide him with help early on so he will succeed in reaching his milestones and more and be a productive and happy person. I have a nephew who is 13years old his father left my sister in law and him and the more sad part is that my sister in law has been in denial that there was something not quite ok with my nephew so she has not provided him with the right help, therapies, or education until now because now that he is 13 years old he can’t dress himself and performing at a 2nd grade level in school. His speech is amazing because from a young age he has loved to read and has a photogenic memory. He can remember every detail from every book he has read! So any who we pray she comes to her senses and helps her son soon. So rest assure that You are doing a very good job with Nasir. You are providing with the right tools to succeed in life. And making something that is very challenging easier to overcome. May god give you and ur family the strength, perseverance, patience, health and love to keep going together as a family and succeed in giving Nasir a fighting chance and a happy successful life..

  26. Take all the time you need. I as a mother and grandmother I know that I would do everything in my power to always put the child first. Just remember that you also have to take care of yourself to take care of Nas! Sending prayers and hug’s! Love Vicki

  27. I can only imagine how overwhelmed you have been. I have no doubt your sweet, adorable, little man will thrive because he has two wonderful, loving parents advocating for him, & the love & support of a great extended family. I’ll be remembering you all in my prayers. Family always comes first & your devoted crochet friends will be here for you when you have a chance to meet back up with us. Take care of yourself, too!

  28. You actually helped me through my son’s autism diagnosis. I decided to take up a hobby while I could do while waiting at the appointments I was faced with. I decided on crochet and found you. It can be a hard journey, but also a rewarding one. Sending prayers and positive vibes your way.

  29. I’m so glad that you figured this out early! Early action can make a huge difference! I used to be a teaching assistant working with kids on the spectrum and boy, is it a spectrum! While these kids have deficiencies in some areas, you’ll find other areas where they excel! Have you considered trying to teach your son some sign language? Some kids who struggle with speech have a whole new world opened up to them with sign language. It can take away the frustration of not being understood. It’s always the hardest at the beginning, but all this will become your new normal. You’ve got this! Much love to you and your family!

  30. What wonderful photos ❤ Love the breaking out of the egg , brilliant idea ❤ I am so sorry you guy’s are going through all this , so hard , but congratulations on being mom and dad first , some don’t , keeping you all in my thoughts , and sending loads of positive thoughts along with a handful of prayers .

  31. Nadja your boy is perfectly fine, my son did not speak until 3 year old, and than start speaking like 5 year old kid. Some kids just need more time to start and those are actually very smart kids. Try to get him play with other kids, that is the best way.

  32. Fellow crochet and ASD mom here. You got this! Knowing now and early makes navigating the future for Nasir easier for your family. There will be hard days, but always remember to celebrate even the smallest things ^_^. You got this, thank you for sharing your life and journey in this new adventure.

  33. Nas gets cuter everyday! 😍 Thank you so much for sharing and letting us into your challenges. I am sorry you are experiencing all of this. I know that with the two of you for parents Nas will have the best care, positive family life and so much love. One day at a time…. sending love, and prayers for those tough days…

  34. Our son is on the Spectrum and was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at age 8. Our expectations of what his life would be were crushed, BUT with therapy and one particularly wonderful special education teacher he has excelled beyond our greatest hope. At 29. He makes his own decisions, works full-time and has a wife and child. It was and is not easy for him and I won’t promise that will be easy for your son, but all things are possible.
    For our journey, the best thing that happened was receiving family counseling with a knowledgeable and dedicated psychologist. She was considered the guru in autism in the 90s and she taught us many helpful methods to help our son build a bigger toolbox of strategies to handle things that frustrated him. Find a good family therapist who understands autism, find a Special Ed teacher who understands autism, and get rid of any guilt you feel about your son’s diagnosis.
    Don’t sweat the small stuff if he won’t eat orange veggies, try greens or vice versa. Textures and smells and noise are triggers, so if he only wants to wear a certain brand of clothes it is because they are soothing so let him wear them. You cannot punish or battle your way out of this. Avoid and descalate behaviors and his life and yours will be improved.
    Love and blessings to your family.

  35. Of course your family is your first priority. Both my husband and daughter are autistic and I encourage you to take a step back from all of the scary doctors and therapists visits and remember that nothing about your son has changed, he is still the wonderful boy he has always been. There is no need to feel guilty because there is absolutely nothing wrong with being autistic.

    As mentioned above, please look into groups run by autistic adults, if you can open your heart to seeing things in a different light and changing your expectations of “normal” you will absolutely find more joy in parenting Nasir. The medical “experts” will absolutely pressure you to put him in ABA, a therapy founded by the same man who created gay conversion therapy. It does not help autistic children learn to cope with their difficulties, it teaches them that if they don’t act neuro-typical, they will be punished. So they learn to internalize all of their pain in order to avoid punishment. Many of us who have listened to actually autistic voices feel horrified and want to reach out to parents struggling with a new diagnosis in hopes of saving even one child from this damaging “therapy” that leads to years of trauma and PTSD for many, many autistic people.

    It clear how much you adore your son and only want what is best for him. Ol awe know that he is absolutely perfect developing on his own timeline in a way that is different from his peers, that isn’t a failure for him or you.

  36. You always worry so much with the first baby, my son (1st baby) didn’t speak properly until he was 3 years old. He had his own language. At 2 years old we discovered that he had Nystagmus, but we couldn’t get a proper diagnosis until he was at school. All babies/children progress slower than the books tell you, their little minds are busy absorbing everything. We also think that our son is autistic, but we never had him tested. He has a vast knowledge of music facts, football facts and history. He became totally addicted to the Harry Potter books and spells when he was at school.

    Time is a great healer, your son is beautiful and I am sure he will be fine.

    Take care and don’t worry too much.

    Kind Regards,
    Jayne

  37. I really feel for you all,it must be so very hard and upsetting for you,but I know with all the Love you have between you,you’ll find the strength to carry on,I will be praying for you and little Nasir, because I know Nothing is Impossible With God 🙏🏻🙏🏻❤️❤️

  38. My son did not speak until he was 2. I was told so many times that he was stupid. He got speech therapy which helped a bit. We just persevered encouraging him to talk and taking the time to listen. He passed his Batchelor of Arts with a cum lauder. The first in his school. Keep being positive and encouraging and ignore anyone who is negative. Love conquers all.

  39. My daughter, now 23, has ASD. It is overwhelming! With Cheyenne not being Dx’ed till she was in 3rd grade but I still signed her up for every therapy I could. TSS, BSC, OT, IEPs, special needs baseball, basketball, special friends, OMG!. Once you learn the ‘new’ language (All the acronyms) it will get a bit easier. There are still times I can tell her something 99 times but when someone else says it in a different way she gets it. I also learned it takes a village & don’t be afraid to reach out to those villagers.

  40. Thinking of you all… you are an amazing Mum and you will get through this…. You will be in my thoughts…sending lots of love..💕💕💕💕💕

  41. please take one day at a time it will get better they even have school for autistic children they learn
    after a while

  42. Awwww Nadia I’m so sorry you And your husband are going through a very tough patch with your adorable son . My daughter worked with children who was on the “ spectrum “ he’ll be ok with all the help that is out there I’ll pray for you and your family

  43. I am raising my grandson Justice. He will be two in August. Justice is exactly the same. Smart, cute, funny. So smart in some areas. Especially when it comes to his tv shows. He knows every sound effect. Every word. Before they say it. He does not communicate with words but by hitting, pulling hair, pulling at my clothes. I have learned what each one means. We too are doing Occupational and Speech therapy. We found a place in town that kids can go and play with other kids and he does well with other children. We thought he was like this because we both work from home and live on a mountain with no other children of any age. Justice has not been diagnosed yet but they believe he is on the spectrum. In NC they won’t test until he is closer to 3 years old. Justice also won’t eat regular food. He is only eating baby food and I have to feed him. That is how we noticed. He has a lot of stomach issues and gags if we try to change his diet. He is very aware of different textures. There are a few things I have found that help Justice tremendously. A water/sand table, the little silicone bubble poppers, a little pop up tent and big cozy pillow for quiet time and his favorite is the mini trampoline. He jumps a lot when he is anxious. I wish you and your family the best and prayers to you all. Just love on him and he will be fine. <3 If I can help in any way let me know. I am blessed because we have The Family Place locally and they connect parents and grandparents with others in the same situation. There may be groups in your area too and they can be a great support system for you.

  44. Hi Nadia, I am so sorry to hear what is happening to little Nas right now. Don’t ever give up. The good Lord above will take care of everything for you. He will be fine eventually. I have a grandson with similar issues. He’s now 4 and just learning to speak in sentences. Keep the faith and I’ll keep you all in my prayers.

  45. I am sorry to hear about all the stress you are going through We have a child that had some troubles when she was growing, and something just didn’t seem right So I asked the questions(but felt like all I got was a pat on the head, but I kept asking) And finally someone did say we need to check this out more No it wasn’t during a Covid-19 and it was our 2nd so I thought I knew something But I know from your video post, you are a strong lady and mom And you can and will get through this I do love your patterns and video’s and can’t wait for any new ones But you will be back when you can Take care of you and your husband and that beautiful boy of yours He is so cute! Thank you for sharing this Sending love, hugs, and many prayers to you all

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