Baltimore, Maryland and Bella Vista, Arkansas.
Birth story to age 1: Alyssa carried Ryder to term and had a normal pregnancy. When Ryder was born he swallowed amniotic fluid, had two knots is umbilical chord and spent 4 days in the NICU to monitor his oxygen. When Ryder was 5 months old he had tubes placed in both ears due to multiple ear infections. At 6 months old he had surgery to correct an umbilical hernia. By 10 months old we noticed significant delays and was recommended we reach out to the Infants and Toddlers division in Maryland to get him assessed. After assessment he qualified for speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, feeding therapy, and special education by being delayed by 25% or more in those areas.
Toddler age 2-4: We then found out he had an oral motor delay which prevented him from chewing food until he was 2 years old and didn’t speak until he was 3.5 years old. He was seen at Mt Washington Pediatric Hospital for feeding therapy and physical therapy where he was also diagnosed with a gait (or inward turn) in both feet. He needed AFOs, braces, on both feet to help correct the gait. He had a geneticist, pediatric neurologist and a developmental pediatrician to help determine the cause of his delays. At age 4 years old he was diagnosed with the STAG1 gene mutation. We were also told through an overnight EEG study that he has overactive brain waves which could lead to epilepsy. He takes seizure medication to help stabilize those brain waves into ever turning into epilepsy.
Child age 5-9: Ryder started school in mainstream public school and was switched to a private ABA based learning school by first grade. This style of learning has proven to be most effective for his ability to attend to learning and retaining learned information. At age 6 years old he was diagnosed with autism. In 2020 he was diagnosed with ADHD.
Primary diagnosis: STAG1, autism, overactive brain waves that could possibly lead to epilepsy, sleep troubles, ADHD, verbal emersion, intellectual disability, developmental and cognitive delay, and hypotonia.
Challenges: Ryder has struggled with sleep since birth. Through the years we have found different types of medication and routines that have helped, but he frequently wakes in the middle of the night. Since he isn’t fully verbal, transitions from one preferred activity to an unpreferred activity can be challenging for him but he’s usually easily redirected. His autism presents in a way where he is overly social and interactive. At times it can be tough for him to differentiate social boundaries and/or queues. Mealtimes can also be difficult with sitting down long enough to eat his meal and try new things. He has also struggled with constipation for many years.
Personality traits: Ryder is an extremely happy child who loves life and everything in it. He loves to get hugs and give hugs and there aren’t many moments where you don’t see him smiling from ear to ear and engaging with everyone around him. He loves all types of sports, fast cars and monster trucks, dancing, video games, and swimming. You can catch him with his preferred food in hand, Jimmy Dean’s Sausage and Pancake on a Stick since he was 3 years old. He adores his parents, two younger siblings and his three dogs. Though there are some challenges, he has overcome so much and is a blessing to anyone who knows him.