Whether it's watching another kid chat up a storm, hearing from a preschool teacher with an eagle eye, or just gut maternal instinct, parents discover their child may be on the autism spectrum in so many different ways. Here, moms reveal the very earliest moments when they "knew."
Jackson, Age 7
When I knew: "Jackson used to play with this Elmo tool bench appropriately -- bang the nails, wear the tool belt. Then he stopped. He started mouthing the toys or tapping them against his hands. He also lost his words and sounds. We were told he was just delayed talking because he was a boy, an only child, had lots of ear infections, etc. But we knew something wasn't right, though we weren't ready to hear the word AUTISM." -- J-Jaye, Jackson's mom and Autism Speaks Autism Response Team Coordinator, Georgia
Recent victory: "For the past five years, we have attended my best friend's Christmas party. Due to Jackson's sensory issues and avoidance of peers, he was never able to enjoy himself or even stay long enough to be in the "kids pajama picture". He has started a new ABA home program and this year, Jackson was able to stay all three hours of the party and even sat with the other kiddos for several pictures! Made my whole holiday!"
Connect with other moms of children with autism here.