The word autism entered our lives and it stunned me. In fact I thought it was absurd. My daughter was nothing like what I had heard about autism.
The lady who came to screen Alyssa to see if she would qualify for early intervention services asked lots of questions and she observed Alyssa at length. When it was over she lest a paper for me, on the bottom of the page it said “? Autism.” It was just nonchalantly scribbled at the bottom of the page.
I looked it up and the description was not at all anything I saw in my daughter. It was negative and depressing. I dismissed it all together.
As she turned two things got rough. She would scream for hours. She wouldn’t tolerate shoes almost at all. She would bang her head and was getting aggressive. She would make circles with her toys and if you broke or touched the circle she would go crazy. Her diet was becoming more restrictive and she only ate a few things and the list was becoming smaller by the minute.
She thrived in water, outside, bouncing, or watching Barney only.
It was a constant rollercoaster.
She began home visits with EI, and began to see an occupational therapist. She got on a waitlist list for an evaluation at Boston Children’s Hospital,just to rule out autism and to see what help they could give us.
I learned about sensory intergration and how Alyssa’s body was craving input,and ways to help her achieve that.
She was either the happiest kid ever or completely disregulated.
She got diagnosed in July three months after she turned two. It was a shock. I was devastated. I could not wrap my head around the fact the my beautiful little girl was going to be impacted the way that autism was portrayed at the time.
We continued what we were doing and added some more therapies iincluding speech.
This was still my little girl and I loved her with all my heart. I was going to help her in any and every way I could.
She would be loved, she would be treated with compassion, respect, and patience. I would make sure of it. I would learn everything I could.
The rest of the year was a whirlwind with lots of ups and downs. Some absolutely shattering moments but also moments of amazing successes. It was a path we would be on for a really long time, I would learn.
The autism rollercoaster
Underneath it all we were a young family trying find our way. Loving each other and trying to make sense of a life we never imagined. I would find the things to calm her and make her happy. Her happiness is everything to me and to this day that hasn’t changed.
She was cute as button.
This was two
Autism awareness day 2