I am a mum of 2 wonderful little boys. The older boy is 3 year old & the younger boy is 3 months old.
This year has been a true roller-coster for us. Year began with lots to look forward to…. A baby on the way, a family wedding (in December), the husband achieving a significant milestone in his career & the date for adenoidectomy!
Those of you who live in the UK & rely on the NHS will know what a relief it is to get an operation date- at this point my toddler was 2&1/2 years old, speech delayed what we thought was a consequence of repeated ear infections from the age of 1- grommets hadn’t helped- it was we thought the solution, take adenoids out, infection will stop & he will soon catch up with his speech- after all he was not completely non verbal- he was happy, smiley- a bit unruly with all the running & climbing which we thought was being a 2 year old! After all toddlers don’t sit still!
Months passed- no improvement with speech, despite ear infections stopping & speech therpay (done by ourself & nursery as that’s all NHS could provide) and at the same time lots kept happening in our lives- I lost my dad unexpectedly – he was only 63- he had briefly recovered from sepsis & heart attack only to get poorly again & pass away- all this in another continent – which meant we travelled twice when 7 months pregnant with my toddler – once when Dad was poorly returning to UK when he recovered & then again for his funeral. When the little man got more & more silent we thought it was all the stress impacting on him- after all he perked up within a month… This followed by the arrival of our second born, he was not getting all the attention…. In between all this we had consulted a paediatrician about his speech delay not getting better- we were told ‘something like autism is low on the possibility list, but let’s get him evaluated anyway’.
At this point I should tell you, I am a medical doctor by profession- and eventhough my toddlers speech worried me, with his ear problems & family h/o late talking (dad spoke at 3) I never worried about Autism- I had realised his eye contact wasn’t consistent – but that was put down to his hearing issues also his poor listening was put down to hearing. So autism had never entered our mind then- the glue ear was a red herring.
2 weeks after his 3rd birthday- we got the diagnosis! ‘your son in autistic, he may speak or he may never speak, we can’t tell you how he will progress, he may have learning delay- we will guide you to do intensive interaction & train you to use PECS & fill forms for extra support in nursery’ that was it!!!!
It’s been a month since the diagnosis. I have cried, I have pepped myself up, my faith has dwindled , but then become strong again- God gives you only what you can handle they say- so we start our journey with HOPE… And that is what this blog is going to be about- Our hopes & dreams for our sons- how we still keep faith in our child & how we try to help him overcome his weakness…. Wether we can get him get there or not, only time will tell.
It’s also about times when we feel low- like today when I dropped my son at preschool a 3 yr old said- ‘ I don’t want him on my table, he doesn’t talk’ or another one asking the teacher ‘why has he come to the 3yr old’s class? He’s still in nappies’. Harmless inquisitive comments by innocent 3 yr olds – the questions my son may have asked if he didn’t have ASD….. They are making me sad.
But I still have hope – one day he too will ask me lots of questions, one day he will call me Mummy, one day he will have a career he loves, one day he will be capable of living on his own….
It is about how that faith & hope drives us to look at different therapies, what we do for our little man, his progress, his set backs….
In my next post I will write about our special little man… Ending this entry with a positive thought…“Think of it: a disability is usually defined in terms of what is missing. … But autism … is as much about what is abundant as what is missing, an over-expression of the very traits that make our species unique.”,