I get asked all the time, "How did you know?". This question always sends me back in time. A wave of emotions come over me and I seem to relive it in the 30 seconds that it takes me to respond. I don't think that I ever want to forget, so I am going to write out his/our story here.
My son (Little Buddy - affectionately named) was born in June. He was perfect! He had ten little toes and ten little fingers. He had a head full of hair (so long that I cut it when got home from the hospital). I thought this was it! I fell in love with him the first time I held him. We brought him home and he began to progress just like any other child. He just didn't sleep very well at night, he did struggle with this a lot. He smiled at me, laughed, rolled over, sat up and even said "Moma". Then out of the blue everything changed.
He began to do little things that most people would think "That is too cool!". I remember he used to lay his blocks out like this: blue, yellow, red, blue yellow and red. If I moved them he would have a fit!!! My Mr. and I were in the living room and I had given our Little Buddy a bowl of cherios. He laid them in a straight line around the table, then proceeded to do this: the first of the set of 3 he ate, the second one went in the bowl, and then he went around again and ate the third one. We just starred at each other in amazement.
He stopped saying: Moma, Dada, hot, bye, hi, bear, and all of the other words he knew. He stopped paying attention to us. He didn't care if I was in the room or not. He started banging his head and screaming! He wouldn't point to what he wanted. He would seek out the sharpest corners in the house and begin to bang his head on them. He would do this if he was happy or angry. He would repeat "sounds" (because he lost all his words) over and over and over again. He refused to eat anything and just wanted a bottle...did not want the cup!
We took him to a GI doctor because at the age of one he only weighed 17lbs. The doctor's were a little worried. They tested him for everything under the sun and still did not have any answers. I was looking on the internet and came across the phrase "head banging". I thought to myself this is funny, mine does this ALL the time. I began to read the doctor's respone and then I immediately got off the computer.
I couldn't believe what I had just read, "Autism". The word kept ringing in my ears. What? Could it really be? No way! Not my little one. Isn't Autism where they sit in a corner, drool, and rock themselves? I was confused and this just couldn't be, no not in a million years. How did this happen? I decided to research this more because I had to prove to myself that he was NOT Autistic.
The more that I read the more I cried. I didn't want to acknowledge or admit it out loud. How was I going to tell my husband? How was I going to tell my family? I knew that everything they were mentioning decribed my Little Buddy.... poor social interation, poor eye contact, didn't make friends, a lack of spontaneous seeking to share emotions, delay (total lack of) speech , inability to initate or sustain a coversation, lack of make believe play, needed routines, flapping his hands, and the list can go on and on some more....
So what do I do now? I contacted the doctor which led me to Babies Can't Wait. They evaluated him and started therapy immediately, he was 15months old. We went to a neurologist who diagnosed him with Autism. I went home and decided at that moment I had to fight. It wasn't a phyical fight but an emotional one. I was going to have to be his voice. I needed to be his voice. I needed him to suceed.
Follow us this month to read more of my son's story...