Before diagnosis -25 days of autism

Today kicks of 25 days of autism. Finding Cooper’s Voice and I will sharing a photo everyday to show the different challenges and celebrations autism brings. We would love it if you joined us!

Day one; post a picture before diagnosis

We starting noticing red flags around 15 months and starting becoming more concerned as each month passed.

Looking back I can see that signs, very subtle ones began emerging closer to 12 months.

Everything had been developing typically her first year. Around 12 months as you can see in the picture with her brother it became more difficult to get her attention for a picture. I just thought she was busy.

It became increasingly difficult and she stopped responding to her name all together. In fact you couldn’t get her to turn her head to sound at all. So much so we thought she was deaf, and that also explained the lack of language. Her initial words she began saying did not grow they stalled and then disappeared all together.

By 15 months hearing problems were ruled out and lots of other signs began emerging.

But we didn’t know they were signs of autism as there was no Google, no checklist

She’s just busy right?

She’s the second child give her time

She started spinning in circles and spinning all the wheels on any toy cars

She’s just being silly.

But why isn’t she talking?

She is obsessed with Barney

She won’t keep clothes on

Is something wrong?

She’s happy most of the time

She’s becoming a picky eater, that not uncommon for a toddler

Something didn’t sit right in my gut

We pushed for an early Intervention referral

We went on a nine month wait for an evaluation but only had to wait 5 months.

She was 2 in these other pictures, she was diagnosed three months later.

At this time I didn’t think autism. I just thought a speech delay with some sensory issues.

Things she could grow out of things that could be helped, that could get better.

The more people reassured me the more I wanted to believe.

But as time went there was more times of her getting overwhelmed and upset, more behaviors and more things that weren’t typical. It was a confusing time.

She was funny and cute! She loved bubbles, Barney, and her brother. She was mostly happy until she wasn’t. Frustration began to climb because of lack of communication but she was still able to be distracted at this time.

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