Someone Asked Me, “When Did You Know?”

Yesterday someone asked me, “When did you know?”  They were referring to my son being on the autism spectrum.  It was a very difficult question, because sometimes I’m still not sure.

I didn’t know for a very long time.  I knew I had a baby that often didn’t make eye contact, but lots of times he did.  I knew I had to work really hard to make him smile and laugh.  Yet when my baby laughed it was always a deep belly laugh.

I knew I had a toddler that HATED water.  Not disliked–HATED!  He tried to expose me at swimming lessons to all of our town.  I knew that he disliked loud noises, loved to wrap his blanket around him.  He had this strange habit of sleeping between his bed and the wall.  I knew he quit eating most foods when he was a toddler. 

When he went to school the first year the teacher didn’t believe he could speak.  I assured her that he could.  He was just shy.  A few years later the teacher told me how he wouldn’t sit in the group, sometimes sat on his head, and wouldn’t look at people.  I figured he might have some social issues.  They suggested ADHD.  I thought that wasn’t quite right.

At an ADHD seminar I found the book the Out-of-Sync Child.  I thought I had figured my baby out.  Yet that wasn’t quite it either.  It wasn’t until between 2nd and 3rd grade that we finally had an evaluation done.  That was when they brought up PDD.  I wasn’t sure that I agreed.

Here we are three years later.  Finally in therapy.  Finally getting the alphasmart at school (I asked for it clear in 2nd grade.)  I finally am coming to terms with it.  It is such a long process for me. 

“When did I know?”  I’m just not sure.

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One thought on “Someone Asked Me, “When Did You Know?”

  1. It is a long process. I am still learning how to deal with Evan’s issues.

    I love the way you advocate for your son! I have a meeting next week with the assistant director of speds regarding meeting Evan’s needs. So far they haven’t and I would like to explore other options. It really amazes me at how relunctant some school districts are about properly serving students with special needs. My eyes have been opened wide to the harsh realities of raising a child with disabilities by having Evan in my life.

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