I have started posting here recently and should probably introduce myself.
My name is Marisol and I have a 2 1/2 year old son, Ian, who is autistic. He was diagnosed with autism when he was around 22 months old. I took him into speech therapy through my HMO when he was 20 months old because he was not gainnig new words, and was in fact losing the the 6-8 words he did have. Little did I know that was a red flag....I was 7 months pregnant at the time and wanted to get his speech back on track before I had the new baby. The next 2 months were spent getting evaluations through a developmental ped. and through early intervension. Both evaluations came back with a dx of ASD. I remember when teh speech path told me she was referring Ian for some additional testing and recommended I call EI. She seemed so serious I got nervous. My response was "Well, we have ruled out anything like autism haven't we?". When she said we could not rule that out, I remember feeling like I went into shock.
The last 6 months have been a whirlwind of therapist and classes. We are doing speech therapy and social training through EI and hired an RDI therapist to help Ian. RDI has been a life-saver. Not the EI is not also great, but our RDI therapist has really given us some great training techniques to use with Ian.
I still struggle with accepting everything- I think acceptance comes in waves, and over time. I try to feel lucky that Ian is a HFA and making strides weekly. We have been able to curb his obession with spinning objects and flushing toilets. Ian has started making much better eye contact and looks to us for our reactions sometimes. He does not stim, and the head banging that had started last fall we have been able to stop.
But my heart still aches at his lack of communication. I know it could be worse. Ian has about 25 words that he uses- they are more for labeling things (purple, blue, mama....)than really communicative words. I am hopeful that a year from now he will be able to tell us if he is thirsty or hungry- or really that he will be able to tell us anything he feels.
On a positive note, he is potty trained. Our daycare woman insists on potty training young, and is really good at it. Though Ian cannot tell us he needs to go, nor does his tell us non-verbally, as long as me have him sit on the potty even 1-2 hours, he will go in the potty. We only have accidents about 1-2 times per week. I swear I will dance I jig the day he tells me he has to go!
My new baby Ava is 5 months old now. He has started noticing her big brother and smiles at him a lot. Ian completely ignores her existance. If I set he close to him, he will move away without even looking at her. I hope as she gets older that he feelings are not hurt that he will not smile back at her.... maybe someday he will.
I currently work 3 days a week, so I fit all of Ian's classes into 2 days. Come January I expect to quit working because Ian will be in preschool classes through early education 3 half days per week and there is no way I can work my schedule around that. I am fine with that. Anything I can do to help Ian at this young age I am more than willing to commit to.
I am eager to get to know you all. Before all of this started I had no clue how many other families were dealing with this. I wish there were fewer of us, but am glad to have a place for information and support.