Laugh with us, cry with us, and learn about AUTISM!

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Autism... When Did It Start Pt 3

Miss Sofia was born on February 15th, 2 weeks early but perfect as could be.  Josie stayed with my parents for a few days while I was in the hospital and we got settled in at home.  Josie didn't have much interest in the baby, barely even glancing at her.  The only time there was any concern was while I was nursing, Josie hated that, and would start kicking Sofia and I.  But time outs ended that quickly enough, no big deal.

For the next few weeks I was on a high.  I felt great, like Super Mom.  I loved both the kids, I kept up the house, continued to bake and crochet and do all the things I enjoyed.  I felt like life could not have been any more ideal, I was so happy.

Somewhere along the way, I came down off my high.  Poor Kevin started getting phone calls at work from me, freaking out about one thing or another.  It seemed like Josie was uncontrollable, the baby wouldn't stop crying all of the time, I wasn't getting any sleep, and I never got more than a 5 minute break (if I was lucky!)  There were times when I literally just had to make sure the kids were in safe places, and go outside for a break.  I felt like I was losing it.  

At some point during this breakdown, I realized Josie wasn't talking any more.  She wasn't saying the few words she had, nor was she babbling much.  She did develop a couple new words, "baby" and "cheese", but those were said infrequently.  She was nearly silent.

At first, I was told not to worry by everybody.  "She'll talk when she's ready" and "Some kids do things faster or slower than others" became the mantra's I heard over and over, and tried to convince myself of.  Another favourite was "It's because of the new baby."  But I felt like it wasn't right.  I did some research, and spoke to our playgroup coordinator.  She assured me that I wasn't crazy, Josie should definitely be talking by now.  She referred me to a group that dealt with children with speech delays.  There was a wait list (as I've learned there is for every service!!!), but I still wasn't overly concerned any ways.  This was in May.   

Kevin and I talked a lot about all of the problems I was having with Josie.  She was at times completely unresponsive and often could not be engaged.  She played pretty much entirely on her own, and didn't want interaction.  She had tantrum after tantrum, with some full on meltdowns.  One day I counted 12 tantrums before noon!  When she "played", it was mostly just lining things up, and she would get upset if I moved them.  She had zero interest in the baby.  She wasn't pointing, she wasn't waving any more, she rarely if ever clapped.  She stopped eating anything and everything and was getting very picky.  She loved to hang on to the weirdest objects and carry them everywhere all day long.

Everybody we talked to said she was just normal.  She'd grow out of it.  It was because of the new baby.  Every child is different.  Even the doctor told me not to worry.  I tried to not worry, but something didn't feel right.  Where was my sweet, loving little girl gone?

Kevin asked me if maybe she was autistic.  No way!  I completely scoffed, and assured him that everybody was right, not to worry.  But from that day on, the thought stayed in the back of my mind.  I did research, then I'd try not to think about it.  Then I'd do some more research, then try not to think about it.  Meanwhile, things were only getting worse.

The day I told Kevin that maybe he was right, was one of the hardest days of my life.

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