Oh, this is a toughie to write, I’m staring at the blogger document in hope that I will be able to hammer my keyboard letters into some sort of comprehensible reading material. Here goes.
At 18 months old my daughter Isabelle’s quirks started to accumulate, she has always been lovely, a little reserved, contented, I had no reason to question her. She was perfect. She still is. However I am a mother in 2017 and if there is one guilty task a first time mum will admit to in 2017 it is googling absolutely EVERYTHING to do with your child, usually “Is -insert behaviour- normal?” “What should I do about a temp of 37” – answer to the last one is usually nothing folks. But you get my point, we google. In fact sometimes we google till google tells us we have failed as mothers and the self doubting voice screaming ‘Am I doing this right’ is reaffirmed with a big fat no your not from the internet.
So one evening I begun to google away…
My toddler doesn’t play with others,
My toddler seems to not hear me,
My toddler doesn’t want to engage,
My toddler isn’t speaking yet,
My toddler doesn’t point,
My toddler doesn’t wave,
My toddler was doing these things now isn’t,
Should I be worried?
Google hit me right in the face with something I wasnt really ready to see.
These are symptoms of Autism.
I went to stay with my parents in England, a date we had already planned for me and Isabelle as Stian was working a lot and we thought the extra interaction of more people would maybe encourage her speech. The googling continued and I started voicing my concerns to my family, who really – had already noticed something unusual in Isabelle too.
I think it took three days to really hit me, it began with the googling, then I found myself pointing out things to family for a second opinion “Mum, do you think thats unusual?’ I could see my mum was desperate to reassure me and say no its normal but thankfully she couldn’t – I had already googled therapy and what to do next so we already knew although there isn’t a cure, there is help and something you can do to help your child. If you’ve found this blog post in the deep dark corners of the internet because you are worried about the same thing I want you to remind yourself of that – There is something that can be done.
Thats what kicked me up the backside.
By the time we got home I had already had multiple break downs to my mum and my sister both who pretty firmly agreed that the quirks of Isabelle, probably were more than just quirks or delays. I had looked at so many facts online one that stuck with me 98% of children who don’t turn to their name have autism or another condition. Though at the time I think I took this as 98% have autism, my brain was just going there. Stian, my husband, was defensive about the whole thing for a while but when we really talked we both agreed we had to follow it up and I would be thrilled to be proved wrong.
That brings me round to why Im writing this.
I was wrong. Well, at least so far. We have seem health visitors, doctors and most recently a specialist whom agreed that while Isabelle does have a speech delay (Possibly due to a bilingual household, google didn’t include that!) she seems to be doing well and is actually ahead when it comes to her motor skills. Her symptoms have dwindled away, the speech issue is still there but my little girl isn’t the same as she was mere months ago.
If I ask her animal noises, what does the cow say etc. she will respond, I call her name and she comes (well…As much as any almost 2 year old!) She says Mamma, Dadda and a couple select other words, usually coming and going over the days. She is pointing (though often not following a point still.), Waving, copying and possibly most exciting of all she is engaging, she is actually pretty quick to go and sit with other playing toddlers and get involved…
So, if you are in my shoes. In my headspace a couple months ago. You might have noticed that while the internet and its people are ready and willing to tell you your child has autism or their child had the same issues and was diagnosed with autism I hope you find my little corner of the web and find hope. My girl isn’t totally out of the woods but its looking good, its not looking scary. You need to follow your gut and get doctors and specialist involved, if only for just incase but sometimes, these things do pass and no one seems to really know why. Other than work my ass off to engage my daughter (I started some of the therapies as soon as I read about them.) There is really very little that happened except time.