So for many months Antonio had chronic ear problems. Ear problems that led to two ear tube surgeries. These months were the hardest, we all were fighting through sickness. Little did we know that I had mono… Antonio was diagnosed with asthma as he went into the hospital visit for nights. It was a tough time, which caused myself to break down and be full force mama bear.
The problem was that even after his ear problems he couldn’t talk and wasnt understanding things that he should be at two years of age. It was tough knowing he was behind and people looked at him. We went into several doctors and the word autism kept coming up. I had panic attack after panic attack thinking that this could be true. Panic attack after panic attack; I just wanted to get to the bottom of it all. Months later we are finally able to put this all behind us and move forward. We know that he is on level 2 of the autism spectrum.
When they diagnosed him I couldn’t find much information or resources; I was overwhelmed. I felt like I could of prevented it all, but the truth it you can’t and never will be able to. So with all this being said I am sharing my experiences with you all first hand so that you have the right resources and tools.
Early signs we saw:
- Flapping of the hands.. Whenever he was super excited he would make an “mm” noise and flap his hands or his arms. It was rather amusing to watch, but often times we thought “why does he always do this?”
- Regression.. When he was about six months he would repeat words we said no problem; then all of a sudden it stopped.
- Viewing of objects close up.. He can sit on the floor for minutes looking at objects and not playing with them like they are used for. For example he would look and examine the wheels/tires on car rather than use them.
- Not Talking.. This was from his chronic ear infections.. We kept working with him hoping things would turn around slowly they did.
- Laughing at nothing.. Antonio would laugh looking into space while eating. This can be a sign but can also be a sign of imagination.
What we did:
- Got help from the state.. Each state should have some sort of program to help you. Make sure you look into those resources and allow them to help you. The best part? It’s free… well this is why we pay taxes.
- Speech.. We started speech VERY early. We started at around 16 months. This helped and we made sure that he had interaction with other kids and was making progress.
- Developmental Doctor… We saw a doctor where they did an ADOS test and gave us a referral for ABA. All of these things basically give us that information that we ned to get further help.
- Take care of yourself mama.. The hardest part is accepting your son as a “special needs” child.. but also wondering how you can work with him. There are great ways to do this, but you can’t do it all. AND you need time away too. Let the professions help you.
Once I was finally able to know that he had it, I accepted things much better and moved on. The next problem that I dealt with was how people viewed my kid. You could see people looking at him.. He wasnt the average normal two year old. They kept asking when will he talk? Give it time he will talk.. I know people are trying to be positive but these aren’t the things I wanted to hear.
Honestly, sure. Those words hurt me though. I needed support from those around me. I needed to let others know and by starting this blog it made me feel as thought I could reach others and feel better about myself mentally.
Then there would be times people told me stories about someone autistic they know and they came out fine. Okay, again that’s great.. I however, didnt care because I was living in the now instead of the future. I cared, but I just felt like we couldn’t relate still. Like, How do I get through to my kid now? How do I help him? Did I do this? Could we have prevented it? What will his schooling be like? These were the constant battles I had with myself mentally everyday; I beat myself up. I know now that we did everything we could of did, we acted quick and got the help we did and that is all my son could of asked for.