This month is National Autism Awareness Month. I've decided to be brave and share my journey with Autism. Last week there was a report that 1 out of every 50 are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Most likely you come into contact with adults and children on the spectrum everyday. There is a saying that goes, "if you meet one person with autism you've met one person with autism" no two are the same. My goal is to share our journey. I hope to inform, inspire, comfort and give hope to others.
About this same time last year I was introduced to the word Autism. My husband and I were sitting in the doctor's office for our son's annual check up and the word Autism was spoken. I didn't know anything about autism and I wanted to keep it that way. On the way home from our doctor's appointment our minivan was silent.
Silence is what we were hearing in our house at the time we had a two year who had become silent. At 18 months I remember him saying calling out "mama" when it was time for bed. He would say "daddy" and run to the door when Tim came home from work. He would scream in delight repeating "Daddy" over and over while being tossed in the air. All through the house I remember hearing, "Daddy", "Mommy", "Bobble", "Cat", "Zoom", "No", "Stop", "Go", and several other words. Right on target for an 18 month old. Then one day nothing.... At first I thought that maybe he was sick and his throat was sore (I don't like talking when my throat hurts), around the same time he stopped eating I also assumed that he must be coming down with a cold. His fascination with dropping toys over and over again was a bit odd but I assumed that's what 2 year olds do. When he started lining up his toys just so, not playing with them just lining them up I started to think, maybe he's really neat like his dad. My husband started thinking that something wasn't right, but he didn't voice his concern with me until that day sitting in our pediatricians office.
That was the day that started our current journey. We immediately immersed our son in an early intervention program in our community. We had a speech therapist and a developmental therapist come to our house weekly to work with Freddie. I sat through and watched closely at each session trying to mimic the therapy sessions throughout the week before our next appointment. After a few weeks of therapy we were advised to have our son tested by a medical specialist. After we scheduled our appointment for the testing I started doing a little bit of research into autism and I was immediately overwhelmed by all of the information out there, just finding a clear definition was difficult to find. My prayer was that my son would start talking again right where he left off and all would be well. Of course things rarely work out the way I envision them in my head. We had our testing appointment in August, at the end of our appointment they diagnosed our son with ASD, Autism Spectrum Disorder. I left with a folder full of information, scripts for various therapies, and a follow up appointment. I remember being thankful that Freddie fell asleep on the car ride home so I could quietly put him in his bed, call my husband, my mom, and think. My mom came over quickly and watched me cry at the kitchen table. She listened to my fears, concerns, and worries. She assured me that I would figure it out, get a plan, and that all would be well.
All will be well... Thanks for your time, I will continue our journey soon. In the meantime I will leave you with a photo of our sweetie pie:Follow my blog with Bloglovin