Autism, I hadn’t heard the word yet.
Our concerns were growing by the day
Her first year started our typical. She reached all of her milestones, was walking and starting to say words.
Things were good. I had a three year old bursting with energy and endless questions, a curious one year old toddling around the house, and we getting ready to purchase our first home. It was an exciting time.
As the year went on we noticed differences. Alyssa didn’t appear to be able to hear. She didn’t respond to her name or any sound at all. Well except Barney if you turned on the TV she would come running.
At first it seemed like she was ignoring us, involved in what she was playing with, typical toddler but as time went on it happened more and more until she was barely responding at all.
We immediately scheduled hearing tests, they needed to do two to figure out if she could hear or not. We thought she must be deaf. Her emerging language stalled as if someone hit the pause button. Which made sense if she weren’t able to hear, but she could.
She also began to resist getting dressed and didn’t want clothes on. She stopped napping. She was spinning in circles and spinning toys, wheels anything she played with. I wasn’t sure if she was understanding what we were saying to her.
There was no Google, no autism screenings or general knowledge of autism to even have that as a concern. Her doctor wanted to wait until she was 2 to refer to early intervention.
We were concerned about her language not developing.
She had constant ear infections.
She was mostly her happy little self. She loved the bathtub more than anything else, except maybe her brother she adored him. She constantly liked to be bounced and tickled her giggles echoing through the house. She also liked to be naked and barefoot. She was strong willed.
She was a beautiful little girl. To look at her you would think nothing was amiss. I was getting more worried and I had a feeling deep in my gut that something wasn’t right. I loved her so much and I just wanted her to be okay. I tried to push it away. Toddlers are busy,they are silly, she is fine.
We will just get her speech therapy and they will get her talking.
This picture was taken on Christmas Eve. She was 20 months old. It was our first Christmas in our new home. We had lots of family over. She cried almost the whole time. At the time I thought she was cranky.
Looking back I know she was over stimulated. I can tell by the way her arm is over her head. She trying to block imput from coming in. I would learn that later in this journey I had her in a dress with tights, shoes and a pony tail in her hair. It probably made her so disregulated. Another word I didn’t know at the time.
This is why autism awareness is critical. We have come so far since then but there is still work to be done. We need share our stories, show all sides of autism. We need to educate,advocate,and stand strong.
Autism awareness month day 1
Alyssa age 1
Share a picture of your child prior to diagnosis on the comments 💕