My son was diagnosed with autism on August 9, 2011. This was a few weeks after his third birthday. He was going in for his yearly check up but this time I just knew something…..
You see, at the time I was taking my Teaching the Exceptional Child course for my B.S. and we were focusing on Autism Spectrum Disorders. As I was learning the signs and symptoms I realized that my son was a match for nearly all of them. He was not talking. He may have said a few words here and there but that was it. He would have to hold onto toys and would get anxiety if one happened to fall out of his hands. He was afraid of loud noises and would cover his ears. Actually, my husband and I used to think he was deaf because he would not respond to us calling his name. I would literally scream out his name and he would not even budge. He would line up toys and other objects…I thought this was so cute being this was our first child and we just had no idea. He would play with toys but in some sort of way that did not seem natural, but yet again I just thought that was okay. He never really waved bye bye and when he did he would have his hands towards himself, as if he was saying bye bye to himself. I loved that so much, my baby saying bye bye. I did not know but as I was studying, I gained the knowledge I needed to bring my questions and diagnosis to the doctor.
Oh yeah, this too – he would run back and forth and would not stop, at the same time he was flapping his hands. I still did not know but all of this was coming back to me when I was studying ASD and it triggered my memory. I love my son so much and everyone would ask why he did not talk and that he should be talking and I just thought it is because he is bilingual and it just takes longer for children with two languages to process the information. In the back of my mind I would ask myself why isn’t my son talking. Here I see children younger than he is talking in complete sentences. That is my baby boy and I love him, he will talk.
So my son is not talking yet and when he wants something he will just point- only sometimes. Usually, he would just grab my hand and utter some sounds as I would see what he needed. Usually it was a snack, kids love snacks and boy did I know he wanted that cookie because that smile was worth a thousand words even though he could not tell me.
He would grasp little things and hold onto them with intensity. I just looked at him in awe. I love my son and look how engrossed he is with a tiny button, pen cap, a part to a toy- whatever it was, no matter how tiny, he was focused and wanted it. He had to hold it. That thing needed to be in his hands and if he lost it, he would have anxiety that was until we could find it again..
So, he was not hitting benchmarks and he could not hold a fork or spoon properly to feed himself but that is my son and I so love him. By the way, he said birthday cake after seeing a decoration at his party, I was amazed. That cute little pause between those words..amazing. I felt so proud of my boy. He would hum really loudly for more than 30 seconds at a time sometimes and he would run and spin in circles. He was not afraid of danger or falling.
Going back to August 9, 2011, my father in law and I brought him to the doctor and that is when…… My son IS on the spectrum…