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The early autism signs- a story to share

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Our very own Special Experience with Autism

Here is how we experienced and had seen the early symptoms of Autism of  our child. We, as a  parents we are not expecting that this situation would occur somehow in our family. Me and my wife were so moved by the situation that our son was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

It  was on December 18, 2003,  I was very excited at that time when I bring  my wife to the hospital. The same feeling that most of a father would have when he is expecting to see his unborn child. We  already have a daughter but knowing that there would be another one  , for us it was indeed a blessing.

After several hours the long wait was over our  second child was born. We were so happy to see him. I still remember how I looked at him and wanted to hug him and kiss him for the first time but the nurse told me that I needed  to wait.

When we  get home , we  have a simple celebration  with among our relatives and friends. Sharing with them the joy we had for having our little prince. However, As the days and months went by at that time  he was  2  years old. That was the time we noticed some changes. He does not much babbling like other kids do.

Whenever we talked to him it seems that he didn’t hear us. He was playing like a normal kid but communicating with us through signs and gestures were not there. I told my wife to give him a little  more time maybe a few more months to develop and take off his language. But unluckily, no development  seen. His language simply was not developing. We started to get concern about his condition. We have to do something.

A Child with Autism

At first, autism did not come up to our mind. Maybe it was just hearing problem. So we went to the doctor to check his ears but the test result came up negative. He can hear sounds but he seems to be  detached from everyone else. I began asking my wife “What Happened to him?” I don’t know, she said. Then we went out and seek some help and we found this speech therapist, who later determined that my son has an expressive language delay , but that she said ” it was not Autism”.

So we waited more months thinking that he is a late bloomer  hoping that he would change and start seeing some improvements. But the long waited months became year he was still the same. The first diagnosis was not that accurate after all.

At that time he became 4 years old, we brought him to school HISD near our house. We want him to start going to school but we really don’t  know if that was the right thing to do because of  his condition. But we were told that somehow in school they would conduct a developmental evaluation.

After our son spent several months in school the  evaluation report was given to us.  Through their continuous investigation and diagnosis they finally have concluded that our son has Autism. During the  meeting , the therapist began to uncover the truth to us as parents about  early warnings of Autism.  Early warnings are;

  • Does the child respond to his name when called?

  • Does the child engage in joint attention (the ability to tune in to someone else either by seeing them or hearing them)?

  • Does the child imitate others?

  • Does the child respond emotionally to others?

  • Does the child engage in pretend play?

Out of five given warnings, our son have the first three. It was hard to accept it. It’s like a bomb fell  from the sky and hit us. It hurt our feelings as parents and we don’t know what to do. We don’t know where to go from there. Is there any hope? We need help.

Searching for Remedy ( A journey of Hope)

There are no two children alike, including children with autism. When your child has an autism he would have a symptoms in all three areas that build up the core features of Autism Spectrum Disorder. These three areas are;

  • Significant communication delays involving his understanding and use of language.

  • Resistance to change means doing things over and over again or repetitive behaviors

  • Delay in the development of typical social interaction with others.

Above  are the list of symptoms we put into our mind as we search for remedy for our son. We gather some information that can help by talking to some relatives and friends , search for  information over the internet and obtained referrals from our medical insurance provider.  Through the referral of our children’s pediatrician we found a physician and set an appointment in his office.

In his short discussion with us,  we learned that the language problem experienced by children with Autism Spectrum Disorder ( ASD) are usually very serious and can differ with each child. A Child with ASD has greater difficulty with language than with a child who is not talking yet but understand instruction and follow it.

This non-talking child has an expressive language delay different than what is seen in ASD. A child with ASD doesn’t accurately process or understand language. Even if he  may have expressive language or be able to speak , a child with ASD maybe unable to respond as expected  to what the other say to him in other words his response may not make sense. He may also lack of ability to initiate conversation or connection especially in make believe play or imitation play.

Meeting with specialist

Moreover, it was on November 10, 2008 when our son’s  physician had set the schedule of the Electroencephalogram (EEG) in Herman Hospital at Houston Medical Center.  After the test, the physician explained  to us in a simple medical term that we could understand. He said that our child is a probable carrier of  autism disorder. We did not give up, after we heard the result we looked  for another opinion.

We brought our son to the Texas Children Hospital for MRI result. Unfortunately, the diagnosed that he received was almost the same. Our frustration at that time was really too much to handle. It was really painful and unimaginable truth at that time have to be accepted . It’s like playing the game of chess, the king has finally have no way to go to but  to surrender, check mate.

As of now,  we finally accept our son’s fate of having this disorder. It is hard as his parents seeing him everyday like this but we still hoping that there is still cure out there. We don’t want to give up even though our hope seems to be fading. God gave our son to us and we are here always for him. This story of ours about  autism may it bring encouragement and inspiration to other  parents to never stop loving their children even he or she has autism or any other disorder.

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4 comments

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  1. Jason

    I have heard of children needing to wait till they started school so that parent could find out if it was autism that their child had. However i never knew that it was true. After reading over this post I’ve learned that this could happen to any and all families. The key now is to stay strong and find supportive groups. Thanks so much for sharing some signs of autism.

    1. Cris Santos

      Thank you for your comment , It’s been a hard time and I still remember when we learned through the doctor about our son’s condition. We hope for the better someday. Our whole family needed every word of encouragement and motivation.

  2. Carroll

    Thank you for writing about Autism. I feel a lot of people, young and old, don’t understand what you are up against. My knowledge is very limited and your information is very helpful..Thanks for giving me a little better understanding of what Autism is and how you have to deal with it.

    1. Cris Santos

      It’s a pleasure to have your comment, I’m happy to know that there are some people who would like to know about this disorder that mostly affecting our children’s future. I would find more time to make some post and extend to people more information about Autism. I hope there would be an eye opening for every family out there about this disorder.

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