I have struggled for my entire adult life to conceive, and was overjoyed when my son arrived, at age 38, even though I knew it would be a struggle due to my age. You can read my entire story here. But that is another story. We noticed that Conner was not talking as much as other children around his age, and he seemed to fixate on one or two words and would not speak any others. We just attributed this to him being the baby, and us spoiling him and not pushing him to speak, pretty much spoiling him. When he was younger he tapped on his ears quite a bit with his hands, so we asked his pediatrician if he may have some problems with his ears, in which they responded that his ears were fine, and then Conner stopped doing it. They did however refer him to speech therapy due to the fact that he barely spoke any words and at 2 1/2 he should be speaking in short sentences.
So we took him to get evaluated, and they advised that he should have 6 months of therapy, one hour per week. So he has been going to weekly speech therapy visits since June. Then 2 weeks ago, it was time for his 6 month re-evaluation (he had only been in therapy for 4 months, but his initial evaluation was 6 months ago, as it took 2 months for his doctor and our insurance to approve treatments). So I was given a questionnaire to fill out and bring the following week when he was evaluated.
As any parent would, as soon as I got home I got online (after calling family members and letting them know that this was a possibility) and started researching Autism Signs & Symptoms. And with each article I read, the tears fell harder, for my perfect little man had not one, not two, BUT EVERY SYMPTOM & SIGN of Autism. My world was closing in on me. Family and friends have been very supportive through this all, but you get all the common comments like: "He seems so normal" or "He is just doing what normal 3 year olds do", but Conner is special. My Mother in Law put it best, we just need to pray and if it is God's will, then we will do what we need to do. And then she said something very profound, proving one of the reasons I love her so much: "God only gives special children to exceptionally strong parents" because not everyone would be able to handle this.
So we went and had him tested the following Monday, and the last 10 minutes of therapy all I could hear coming from his Therapy room were his screams, and deep down, I knew what the results would be. His therapist brought him out, told me she need to grade the test, and we would have the entire session the following week to go over the results. She did let me know that Conner did start trying to bite his arm during the testing (a common sign of Autism).
So that weekend was a busy one, we went to Georgia for a family visit, a surprise anniversary party and Conner's 3rd birthday party. The whole weekend was a buzz with all our family members stating there was no way he was Autistic, they just didn't see it. But Sunday morning, due to all the commotion and excitement, Conner got sick (stomache problems is another common sign of Autism, and Conner has had 4 incidents in the last 2 months).
My husband immediately flew off the handle and said he wanted a second opinion, even though, I knew prior to the results what the diagnosis would be, my husband still does not believe it. So where do we go from here?
The answer is, I really don't know!!!! We have his 3 year check up next week, where the pediatrician will go over it with me, and we will get a game plan. The positive to this is, now that he is diagnosed, he will have unlimited resources that are available to help him. On Monday he is being evaluated for Pre-K through a program for children with developmental problems (including Autism). So we will take it one day at a time, and love that baby the same as we always have, and maybe even more!!!!
So I just want to make sure that as parents, if you think your child may have any type of developmental problems, whether it may be ADHD, Autism, or just being a little behind, please make sure to have them checked out, they are better off being able to get the treatment they deserve, so that they can lead a normal and independent life.
Thanks so much for reading and supporting our family.