Jorge Juan is five years old. He is on the Autism Spectrum.
He was diagnosed at the age of 3. It was at that time, I was taking the class Teaching the Exceptional Child. I noticed some things that were different about my son that coincided what I was studying at the time. I brought him to the doctor. She diagnosed him upon seeing specialists as well. We followed up without stopping. He was not speaking and was not hearing well. I thought he was deaf. His hearing tests came back with results of 20 percent hearing or something close to that, I do not quite remember but his ears seemed plugged. A second hearing test was needed, so we did it and still the same results. It was a little tricky because he was not sitting still and could not communicate. So after a while we found out he had water in his ear.He has had many ear infections. He could not hear well due to this and we ended up getting tube sin his ears and his adenoids taken out a while after.
Then he visits a neurologist. It was a thorough exam and the doctor places him in the middle of the spectrum. At this time, he could not follow directions, stack blocks, wave, or other typical things that 3 year olds do. We left the office, my husband and I. We did not let that discourage us. We kept going and believed that is just the perception of this doctor. Everything will be fine. After this we visited a speech therapist for an evaluation.
And as you guessed he attended speech therapy. At that time he was not speaking. Maybe a few words here and there but he could not communicate well. It was difficult for him. At the every beginning, he would moan, point, hum and act out to get the attention of the therapist.The week after this he started his first year of pre kindergarten. I was nervous because he did not talk and how would they know, etc.
The teachers were great and they really helped him out. From the first day I told the lead teacher that Jorge has autism and she gave me a number to call for some special education things like evaluations and play group, so we did that.
He received specialized instruction in class along with a speech therapist and occupational therapist from school.He also has an IEP. This was all declared after he has been evaluated by the board of education.
Little by little, he is doing it. The second year of pre kindergarten, he was talking in some words. He could put some words together and before we knew it he was making sentences here and there. He was receiving private speech therapy outside of school and during school time. the social interactions with teachers and peers opened him up. He needed it. It has helped him out tremendously. He was still in pull ups at the time and eventually was fully potty trained at about 4 and a half or a bit earlier. He was not eating independently either. He needed extra help with many basics but that did not stop us.
We kept going and going and today he is 5 and a half years old. He talks non stop. He never wets the bed and he can feed himself. He is writing and drawing now. he loves school and taking the bus. He looks forward to many things.
I almost forgot to mention that before. All the time. He was very figidity. He would hum loudly and pace back and forth, jump in place but most of all flap out of sensory overload.He was even tested for seizures because the neurologist thought something was up as f he stopped breathing or would black out during the time of this great excitement. It was like a blank stare sometimes for thirty seconds as if he was in his own world.
Today he asks a million questions a day and he tells stories. He shares his dreams. He plays and shares. He loves school time and family time. He communicates.