Our first son was a lover-
I mean super affectionate crazy snuggler.
He was such a happy baby with a smile for everyone.
He then turned into a toddler with a hug for everyone.
We never dreamed we would ever hear the words-
“I think your son may be on the spectrum.”
What? Our happy social butterfly? On the Autism Disorder Spectrum?
But I guess they call it a spectrum for a reason.
While I had heard of ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) I was definitely not familiar with all that it entailed.The more I learn about it I can see my son indeed is on the spectrum. But this seemingly ominous diagnosis actually doesn’t change a thing except that it can give us the tools he needs to find his voice.
Of course those words are hard to hear. But it also gives a relief. When your two and a half year old hasn’t said a single word in his lifetime you start to wonder what’s going on. We were both frustrated at this gap in our ability to communicate. He was in a prison of his own mind unable to let me know what he was thinking or wanting or even needing. My heart was broken because I was afraid I would never know my son.
This is where Speech Therapy came in.
Again something I was completely unfamiliar with aside from my own research and attempts to teach my son how to talk. Our son responded beautifully after just a couple of months of therapy.
The first time he signed “more” I cried. I laughed. I swung my son around praising him like a crazy person. The gap was beginning to close. Hope came crashing in like a wave. Some day I might be able to actually know my son.
I did this again the first time he held his arms outstretched and verbalised the word, “Up.”
He was almost 3.
The wait was worth it.
And I thank God every day for speech therapy and our wonderful therapist.
If you are struggling with similar things I hope you can find help locally. You can read here some tips on how we work with our son to find his voice. Always feel free to reach out.