Some of you may or may not know that I am an Autism mom. I decided a few weeks ago that I was going to start a series on my blog called A Diary of an Autism Mom. Today, is my #1 Diary of An Autism Mom entry. I am hoping to be able to reach out to those who are also Autism moms, and just make those that read aware of Autism.
My oldest was diagnosed with classic Autism just after his 2nd birthday. I had just had our little girl a few months earlier, so things were extra crazy at our house already. As a mom at this point in my life I was on an emotional roller coaster anyways before adding the word Autism to my plate.
A little bit before our daughter was born I had our pediatrician send a referral to a speech therapist. Our little boy had a handful of words that he used at a year old, then at 18 months lost them all. He had regressed back to where he was before he had those words to communicate with. We started speech in hopes that we could get him talking more. We had an amazing speech therapist. She loved Ian and loved working with him. My husband and I were still concerned about our Ian. Not only did Ian not talk, he would rather play on his own, had a hard time with interacting with others and didn’t have great eye contact with anyone.We thought well maybe we are reading too much into this.
Ian also was prone to having ear infections. He had half a dozen ear infections from November-January that winter. We thought we would be able to get tubes in his ears, but every time they would clear up with the antibiotics they put him on. We thought and so did his pediatrician that maybe he was not talking because all the fluid from the ear infections.
Was our child deaf? Was that why he lost his words? Off to the audiologist we went. We had Ian tested to see if he had fluid in his ears and have his hearing checked. The place was a joke. We wrestled Ian to even sit, and leave the head phones on to listen to the machine they used to test his hearing. He hated it! How do you have a child that does not talk, and sometimes not even respond to you, tell you if they can hear something? The audiologist running the test said there was no fluid in his ears, and he could hear just fine. I’ am not sure how she was able to get an accurate reading that day. I was mad when we walked out of there to say the least.
We scheduled Ian boy’s 2 year old well child check up with a different pediatrician in the office we took him to. We needed a different opinion, so we could help Ian be able to communicate with us. We were in that office with the new doctor for not even 10 minutes. She said to us, ” Have you ever thought your child has Autism?” My heart sank and instant tears started. This was not what my husband and I wanted to hear. We knew something was wrong, but we were hoping for something they could do to help fix our little boy.
When the word Autism is mentioned in a doctors appointment for your child so many things flood your mind. The things that flooded my mind that day were:
- My child has something wrong with them, and I never wanted this to happen.
- My boy will never be able to do the things I dreamed he would do.
- Will he ever be able to communicate with us.
- Will our daughter have Autism as well.
- What did I do wrong as a mother.
- I should of breast fed him longer.
- Was I eating healthy enough when I was pregnant with him.
The word Autism is the scariest thing to hear in my opinion about your child!
Ian not only had a lack of communication skills he had other skills he was lacking. They did the M-Chat test on him at his 2 year old well child appointment, and there were so many red flags for Ian that we never caught before. We were first time parents and Ian was an only child for the first 22 months of his life. As parents we didn’t really know any different. We thought Ian was just being Ian.
My one thing I want to leave you with today about being a Autism mom, dad, sister, brother, grandparent, aunt or uncle you are not alone. Never feel like you are alone in the moments of hearing your child or loved one has Autism possibly. I did a whole lot of praying and crying in the days after this appointment with my son. In fact I still cry over things that happen in my days of being a Autism mother. Even after 3 1/2 years of therapies, school and doctor appointments with my son. There are going to be happy and sad days. That love you have for your child will not change. In fact it grows even more. You watch your child struggle and succeed, and that child becomes your hero. That child will teach you what is more important in life. The little things like having a clean kitchen can wait. You can swing that child on a swing all day if it makes him happy. My son’s happiness has been my stress as a mother. All I want is our Ian to be happy!
Next time I want to talk about the steps we took to get an official diagnosis for our son.Stay tuned!
Resources: Savings Guide For People with Disabilities