When I found out I was pregnant, I was shocked, to say the very least. Shocked, because a so-called specialist had just told me a few months earlier that I would never have children without the aid of medical intervention.
Welcome to the world, my son ‘E’ in July of 2008 at a whopping 10 ½ lbs. He brought new meaning to the term “no small miracle”.
At 18 months, all medical and developmental resources say your child should be able to point to something you ask about (ask “Where’s the light?” and they point up), use about 20 or more words and come to you or look when their name is called.
My son, at 20 months, still hasn’t said “Mama”. He hasn’t said “ball”. He hasn’t said “Baba” or “bottle”. He actually hasn’t said much more than “Dada” (and not towards his father, just says it constantly, like “dadadadadada”), “Ya”, the noise that sounds like “TSE”, “ooooooooo” and lots of babbling. Those are the sounds he made at about a year, and hasn’t learned much more since.
At 16 months, his paediatrician was a little concerned, but figured he would catch up soon enough. I joked that because his father and I both like to talk a lot (ahem *cough*) that maybe he just hadn’t said anything yet because he couldn’t get a word in… that joke just doesn’t seem as funny anymore.
At 18 months and still nothing yet, E’s paediatrician was more concerned and decided he needed to be referred to a specialist who can help us with his speech.
Off to our evaluation at a local centre for children with special needs. By the end of the multi-team assessment, the Developmental Paediatrician had this to say…
DP: Your son is showing signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Me (Confused): Okay…
DP: Have you heard of Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Me (Sheepishly): I’ve heard of Autism…?
After that, to be honest, I’m not sure what she said. Instead, this is what was flying through my head:
Autism? Are you sure? Check again… It can’t be right. What if it is? What if it’s not? How do I fix this? How can I help him? My son? Are you sure? Check again… Is he okay? What will happen to him? Is this my fault? What did I do wrong? What didn’t I do right? Are you sure? Check again…
Since then every single movement, every attempted communication with him, Every. Word. He. Tries. To. Speak. we are evaluating. Every time he does something even remotely similar to the list of “red-flagged behaviours” (which you can read here) we are wondering if that is what it is…
Janice is a quirky, working Mom of an active toddler (but then again, what toddler isn’t active?). In her spare time, she loves to window shop for shoes she can’t afford, belt out showtunes while driving, dreams of a house that never gets messy, and of course read her son his favorite book “I Love You Through and Through”. She lives in Brooklin, Ontario with her fiancée.