2020 has been a strange and difficult year for all of us. There has been added stress, worry, and many have suffered the loss of loved ones, jobs and their homes. Violence is up and many feel anxious, stressed, isolated and hopeless.
But during this tumultuous time, there was a huge celebration for our household.
You see, our youngest child was diagnosed with moderate Autism at age 2. To say it was devastating does not justify the emotions my husband and I felt when told that diagnosis. I personally will never forget that day.
All our hopes and dreams of what our son’s life would look like vanished, just as he did overnight.
Alex was on task developmentally and a happy child until he received his vaccinations at age 13 months. I kick myself that day for agreeing to all the vaccines being given at “one time” so as to “not have him suffer the pain of multiple needles.” I wish I had spaced out the vaccinations, but that is story for another day.
We gradually saw our son lose all his language and become a shell of himself overnight. Devastating. At age 2, he had regressed to the expressive language of a 9 month old. There were many tears and feelings of hopelessness.
My medical background in Pediatrics was a blessing. Early intervention was key as well as other forms of treatment such as ABA, diet, vitamins, etc. Again, another day to tell that journey.
But today I wanted to give hope to those who have a child recently diagnosed with Autism. Our son just graduated from a University with an AD in Arts and Science and will now continue on for Graphic Design studies. Unfortunately, he had a Covid graduation, but still a blessing.
He drives, has a job, social life that never ends and has dreams and goals of his own.
Not all kids with Autism are as successful as Alex in the recovery process, but my advice to all you new parents is don’t give up. Our kids ‘are in there”. They just need to be found.
Never lose hope.