Today, I would like to welcome TheOtherMousie to AutismLearningFelt. Sarah has a great blog and I encourage you to visit her, after reading this post.
Hello, I’m Sarah, I live in the UK. I’d like to thank Tammy for letting me share my story with you all – I’ll try to keep it short!
Bram was born in January 2005, it had been a very stressful pregnancy for a number of reasons. When he arrived into the world he seemed healthy enough to us & we were very relieved & happy.
I suppose, looking back on the first couple of months, there were things that I noticed, things that my older children had done, but Bram did not. He had a lack of interest in toys, instead he used his fingers to trace imaginary patterns on the carpet. He never put anything in his mouth, never explored with his mouth or when he was teething he never chewed on toys or his fingers. At around 5 months we started to wean him onto baby foods & this is really when we started to notice differences. He wouldn’t tolerate any foods in his mouth at all & continued to be solely breastfed. At 8 months old, with still no luck, the professionals got involved. They were full of advice that got us no further forward. So we approached his first birthday with a child that was losing weight & was now anemic.
Bram finally started to crawl (albeit backwards) at nearly a year old, he walked at 16 months, much later than my other children. He could say 6 words at 16 months, by 17 months he stopped talking altogether. I decided to stop breastfeeding to encourage him to eat a little more – he really was trying to but he found it so difficult. The professionals at this stage seemed to have lost interest & I was left blaming myself – what had I done wrong?
Finally, when he was 2 ½, out of the blue he began to talk. Quite full & proper sentences… but we soon noticed they were sentences that we wouldn’t normally associate with a ‘healthy’, ‘normal’ toddler. They seemed to be full of paranoia, people, trees & houses were all watching him, following him – life appeared to be too much. My husband & I were so concerned.
We saw the pediatrician again around his 3rd birthday & I happened to mention could he be autistic, maybe Aspergers? She answered that she had always suspected this but we should leave it as he was so young. We were left to cope & wonder yet again.
He spends a lot of his time as a cat, we don’t have a cat, but he displays cat behavior very well, particularly when he’s anxious. He loves to smell me, he pushes his nose all over my back & armpits – which is ok at home – but not so good in the supermarket! He’s highly intelligent, but doesn’t seem to realize that things don’t work magically & that you have to put effort into opening & closing; pushing & pressing; dressing & undressing. Bram is still in nappies – we live in hope that one day…! He attends Kindergarten 3 mornings a week, he doesn’t enjoy the other children talking to him or jostling around him. His diet is still very limited & he only ever drinks water.
Now he’s 4 1/2 & we are still walking a very slow road to a diagnosis, we’ve had everything thrown around, ASD, Aspergers, anxiety, co-morbid, attachment disorder, even bi-polar because he seems to move in cycles of two good weeks, then 2 bad weeks. The simple but undeniable fact is he is on the autistic spectrum. He’s our wonderful boy & sometimes I think we love him just a little too much, but you can never love a child too much.