DOES MY SON HAVE AUTISM?
I have been pretty quiet on my blog over the last two month’s, life has been crazy and life-changing.
At the beginning of October while my husband was away on business I started to notice that Jacob wasn’t meeting the milestones that I felt he should be meeting. Jacob was 17 month’s at this time and I started noticing thing’s that when you say out loud doesn’t seem odd for a 17-month-old to do but when you put them all together they represent red flags of ‘AUTISM’.
I contacted my husband who was in the USA on business at this point telling him my concern’s while showing him the research I found and he agreed that Jacob is showing signs of autism.
I decided to watch Jacob more and noticed more, such as hand flapping, spinning in a circle, playing with the wheels on his car’s, and banging, he loved banging objects.
I stayed up that night and researched everything autism, I watched other children Jacob’s age who had been diagnosed or showed signs on YouTube, I read blog’s, literally anything I could find, I researched.
I’ve got to admit that my heart felt like it stopped beating, I knew Jacob had autism I just knew it. I just didn’t know what to say or think, I had a panic attack and I’ll be honest I was devastated! I sobbed and broke my heart, I felt the son I had was gone, I had lost him. I also think I was grieving his future.
I will be writing a post on how I felt and the processes we went through to get where we are now. You can watch a video I posted explaining how I felt at this point here.
Jacob does not say a word, but he baby babble’s a lot. Jacob wasn’t a big speaker before but he could say a handful of word’s such as ‘dada’, ‘orange’, ‘quack quack’, ‘baby’, 'nana' and twice he said ‘mom’ but never to me just in talking. I can’t honestly wait for the day my son can say, mummy.
Jacob has lost the little word’s he could say now and continues to baby babble which is so frustrating for him that he can’t tell us what he wants, you can see him getting more & more frustrated because he can’t communicate with us what he want’s. This is so heartbreaking.
Friend’s and family really mean well when they are telling you that he is fine and that its normal for boy’s, boys are just lazy or that I didn’t speak until I was older but it is so frustrating for me because as a mother I knew that things just weren’t right and honestly felt like no one understood what I was saying except my husband.
I was not willing to wait any longer to get support, I contacted many professionals who told me that Jacob was fine, and even had a health professional tell me ‘to one professional to another, he is fine I don’t think he has autism, just wait until he’s older as they won’t even diagnose him at this young age he has to be 3’.
I felt like I was going crazy, why is no one listening to me?!?!
After screaming loudly (not literally) I finally got an appointment with a paediatrician and I made sure I was prepared I wrote down everything.
After spending a while talking with the paediatrician and telling him our concern of autism, he observed Jacob as well as documenting Jacob’s history (very detailed history and what Jacob does now) we heard the word’s,
‘ Yes, It is very likely your son has autism’.
It sound’s crazy but I felt relieved, of course, my heart was still hurting but I had two months of crying every day, falling into depression and crying myself to sleep every night. The emotion’s I went through before this time made me strong enough to hear this, it wasn’t a formal diagnosis as we still have a little more way to go but it’s so good to know that a professional can see what we could see and put in support for Jacob. The early you get support for autism the better.
SIGNS OF AUTISM IN PRE-SCHOOL CHILDREN – via wws.nhs.uk
The features of ASD that often develop in pre-school children are explained below.
- delayed speech development (for example, not speaking at least 10 different words by the age of two), or not speaking at all
- frequent repetition of set words and phrases
- speech that sounds very monotonous or flat
- preferring to communicate using single words, despite being able to speak in sentences
RESPONDING TO OTHERS
- not responding to their name being called, despite having normal hearing
- rejecting cuddles initiated by a parent or carer (although they may initiate cuddles themselves)
- reacting unusually negatively when asked to do something by someone else
INTERACTING WITH OTHERS
- not being aware of other people’s personal space, or being unusually intolerant of people entering their own personal space
- little interest in interacting with other people, including children of a similar age
- not enjoying situations that most children their age like, such as birthday parties
- preferring to play alone, rather than asking others to play with them
- rarely using gestures (such as pointing) or facial expressions when communicating
- avoiding eye contact
- having repetitive movements such as flapping their hands, rocking back and forth or flicking their fingers
- playing with toys in a repetitive and unimaginative way, such as lining blocks up in order of size or colour, rather than using them to build something
- preferring to have a familiar routine, and getting extremely upset if there are changes to their normal routine
- having a strong like or dislike of certain foods, based on the texture or colour of the food as much as the taste
Jacob is unable to say any word’s and he’s just turned 19 months. He also has very little response when you call his name, we have to say ‘look what mummy has or daddy has’.
Jacob is unable to wave bye-bye or point.
Jacob is the opposite in what they say about affection, he is very affectionate, loves cuddles and touching you which I am very happy about. However Feeding Jacob is hellish, he hates certain texture’s and if he touches it and doesn’t like the feel of it, he won’t eat it. He is so fussy with food, he only likes dry food, and won’t touch some foods at all but brings it to us to feed him. He lost the ability to drink from a sippy cup and only drinks from his bottles, he only drinks water and the dry food’s so we have had problems with his bowel’s. We have now changed him to soy milk which seem’s to be improving his bowel’s a little but it’s only been a matter of days.
The next stage for us is to wait to see all the professionals that Jacob has been referred to for support while also getting formally assessed for a diagnosis of autism which could take up to 6 months. Jacob will also be having the genetic blood test’s to see if he has the gene for autism. The paediatrician would also like Jacob to attend a nursery and get support for interacting with others.
This has been the hardest thing our family has gone through, my husband is so supportive but I feel as if I have been consumed by autism, I want to know anything and everything I can do to help, support him in this life so I am constantly reading and researching.
I can’t help but worry about his future, how people judge him but I am learning to take one day at a time and to not look at the future. I believe this work’s for me.
Jacob is the most loving, funniest, happiest and gorgeous boy I have ever met, he is truly amazing and is loved more then he will ever know. With a mummy and family like his, I can promise him that I will get him all the support and give him all the love and understanding he will ever need.
I worry so much for him but until we know what end of the spectrum he is and what support he needs I am going to keep doing what I do and that is trying to be the best mum I can be to my two bubbas.