I’ve been debating if I should post about this or not. Let me be clear, it isn’t shame or fear it is simply weighing out the many advice I’ve been hearing from friends and family.
At the end of the day, it is our decision on how we tackle this and we are a family who is open about our lives, struggles and successes. We do it because it can help someone and it helps us process all of it as well.
This past August our girls started pre-school and they are loving it. I have had this gut feeling for a long time that something was special about our big girl Bella. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but I had this nagging feeling. So I started writing things down and taking notes. One day while talking to one of the pre-school teachers I mentioned it to her and she asked me if I was thinking that she had Autism.
Me and my ignorant self, stopped to think about it and all that I could “see” as a comparison were the severe autistic examples. I simply was not (and still I’m not) educated enough to know about the other umbrellas that autism covers. So we talked about it and she mentioned Asperger’s. While reading through it, I saw it. So many pieces fit, so many of them. I just knew right then and there. But being a factual person I asked the school to monitor her and let me know if they too noticed anything. Within a month or so, they came back to me letting me know that yes they too were seeing things that simply weren’t clicking.
We then worked with the school district in getting her tested and they came back with Speech Delay and Developmental Delay. Even though she scored above the cut off on Autism, it was decided that after observing her in class that she didn’t fit that category.
Now, let me be clear. I’m not wishing my daughter to have Autism, I just needed to follow my gut as a mom. So I did what I had to do, I reached out to our family doctor who directed us to a child development specialist. The waiting to get this evaluation was 6-9months. That’s just brutal. But we waited.
This past Monday we did our assessment and my concerns were right. Our Bella is special and she’s in the spectrum, level 1 (High Functioning Autism). What does that mean for us? What does that change? What now?
Well, it doesn’t change anything really, Bella is still my sweet, loving and smart girl. She’s still the same. We just now know a little more about her and we will then work on getting the right tools and resources to help her get through some challenges.
As I mentioned before, I’m not well educated on this new world yet, but I’m working on that.
Miss Bella is still the same, there’s not need to change how we treat her or act around her. She will have tough days when her pants are too tight and the lights/sounds bother her and we will be there to help her get through those struggles every step of the way.
We have shared with some people about our new world and A LOT of them say to me “really, she doesn’t look it” and I try my very best to explain to them the very little that I know about it.
If you’re a parent and you have that little nagging feeling that something is different and you can’t put your finger on it, then I hope this helps you some.
Here are some of them things I took note of:
- Speech Delay – avoids eye contact – over attachment to thing – twinkling of fingers – throws huge tantrums that requires long holding to calm down – hard time transitioning from one task to another – sound, light and smell sensitivity – likes being alone – lack of facial expressions – intrusive at social interactions – repeats every last option when asked a question – clumsiness – copies her sister/peers – Unaware of danger (this is a big one that really scares me)
I don’t mean that if your child has these things that he or she has autism, I am just describing our situation and circumstances.
I’m hoping to use this platform to learn all that I can about the world of autism, to maybe one-day help someone that will be in my shoes. Entering a new world without any prior knowledge and trying to navigate through it.
If you read my blog you will know that I am not afraid of speak up, to look for information and facts. That’s how I deal with things. Writing also helps me release my stress and anxiety a lot.