During my pregnancy I worried of many disabilitys but not once did autism cross my mind.
After an extremely traumatic birth I was on high alert during early development but again I never thought of autism being a possibility.
At 11 months I realised that it was extremely difficult to get Blakes attention and that he didn’t respond to his name.
It became clear over the next six months he was showing many if not all the signs of a typical autistic child here’s some early signs.
- Not responding to their name
- Using Paritheral vision to watch car wheels spinning (he would lay down on the floor to do this while pushing a car back an fourths)
- Not pointing by 12 month’s
- No words
- Not sharing joint attention (Blake might see something but would not at me to see if I to had seen for example a plane in the sky)
- Not showing objects (typically a child will bring over lots of toys to show you or not bringing books over to read)
- Late sitting up, crawling or walking ect
For me I just knew. I spent many a nights scanning the Internet for any information to confirm my already fears that my baby could Infact have autism. I cried so many tears constantly and became extremely depressed. I was alone in this black hole and not having any answers and no body who understood. Everybody I spoke to would say “ow he’s far to young to tell” (something which if I hear now said to other new mums with concerns with out a doubts makes my teeth itch!! ) because they are not experts! This is why you have to have an assessment done by people highly trained in a.d.o.s. Autistic diagnosis observational service and pediatricians. Pediatricians are the only people who can diagnose your child with asd. I did however during this time became a fountain of knowledge on asd because I was obsessed especially during the early stages with signs to look out for.
I grieved for the child I thought I wasn’t going to have and then would cry for feeling guilty for feeling that way. I was filled with fear of what autism is portrayed as and quite frankly I was terrified. I thought he would never talk possibly not even walk as he was a very late walker (18.5 months) I feared the worse. My little boy did not respond like other children and was not doing what everyone else’s babies were. I feared I would never communicate or even here the words mum…. But I was very very wrong.
Fast faward to now my boy is 3.9. He is talking and he loves silly games, he laughs so much, he loves it when he hears someone pop and goes errrrgggghhhh stinky bum bum, he loves cuddles and pointing and telling me what things are like boats, or a cat, a cartoon advertising sign for new films, he loves saying his colours, he loves rolling down hills and dancing to his favourite music, hip hop is probably his fav (he has great rhythm this must come from me as it def doesn’t come from his dad lol) he loves reading story’s and making demands when we’re shopping for his essentials. Blake is just like any other 3 year old. With a few added extras in between that with the right support, patience and perseverance, strong boundaries lots of encouragement and engagement we will get there. Your child will to.
Put the work in and you will see results. Some days are harder then others but everyday is different. Some days we are running and some days we take some step back, but what you will see is the beauty in every mile stone because each one is a tiny miracle that you will never take for granted.