When I was pregnant with my daughter I was so overcome with emotion. I would stare at my belly in wonder and think “WOW” how truly amazing is it that this little human life is growing inside of me. I wanted to do all the right things as most first times moms do. Of course I read “What to Expect when Your Expecting”. I got plenty of rest and did all the “right” things.
I often was on Babycenter.com almost every day. I loved reading about what was going on inside my belly. I always asked a million questions at every doctors appt. I had gotten a phone call from my OBGYN one day saying one of my test came back showing a high risk for Downs Syndrome. I was devastated they sent me for genetic counseling and I was told the only way to know for sure was to do an Amniocentesis.
I was not sure what to do. The thing I knew for sure was I loved her already and whatever the outcome was going to be this was my child. I chose not to do the Amnio. I had another important decision to make I could either enjoy being pregnant or I could be fearful for the next four months. I prayed which helped me to push my fears aside. I truly did enjoy being pregnant and the minute she was born I knew she was fine. I just looked her and felt it in my soul.
So there I was pregnant again not so long after and I refuse to have the blood work that showed high risk for Downs Syndrome with my daughter. I just figured why go through that again. All of my sonograms were normal so I was feeling good about everything. He was born and like I have said before I knew something was “off”. I am thankful every day I could recognize it so early on.
My hopes in sharing all my life “stories” is to help someone who may be wondering the same things I was. What I know for sure is that “Time is of the Essence” with starting intervention with children who need help. It is scientifically proven that the brain can be changed from 0-5 years old. This is why Early Intervention is essential in helping our children to succeed.
My daughter was in preschool and I would go to drop her off and pick her up. I would see the other parents with their children too. There was this little boy in my daughter class that I was drawn too. I went home that day wondering about him why couldn’t I stop thinking about him. I went the next day and saw him again I stopped and before I knew it I was in a daze staring at him and his Mom. I couldn’t help myself in that moment I realized what it was, he reminded me of my son. He was clearly stimming. He had little speech and was so anxious and over whelmed about school. The mom caught my stare and started making excuses for him. I wanted to cry. I felt her pain and knew all the thoughts that were running through her head. She looked over at my daughter and said “Wow, she is great she talks so much. I think my son has a speech delay.” I was floored … I thought for sure she must have known. I went home consumed with thoughts of her and her son. I wanted to tell her something but how could I. Seriously, who the hell did I think I was wanting to tell this woman that her child was probably on the spectrum. I decided to approach the teacher. I had already shared with her that my son had Autism so maybe she would help out. I started by saying I noticed that so and so has some behaviors that may indicate he is on the spectrum. She looked at me like I know but why are you telling me. She told me its not really her place to say anything. I left there feeling frustrated and completely unsure of what to do. I never told the mom what I thought but I did share with her that my son was on the spectrum and I could refer her to a great speech therapist. I still find myself thinking of them.
I often wonder why some people have their “eyes wide open” and others not so much. I get not wanting to admit that there may be something “wrong” with your child. However, I know from experience the only thing denial is doing is not getting your child the help they need. Our children are born into our care. I define that as meaning it is my responsibility to do everything that I possibly can to ensure my children grow up with the self confidence that will get through any situation. If you have questions or doubts whirling around in your thoughts…NOW is the time to act on it. If you are not getting the answers that speak to your concerns don’t stop until you have them. We are blessed right now with having access to many resources that can help our children. I understand the fear and anger that comes with acceptance. I felt I had no time for that. I had to push through the fear of diagnosis and help my child. I had to jump in with my “Eyes Wide Open” and put my trust in God that all would be okay. I am hoping that what I am sharing will help families to move forward. This is intended for all areas of our lives that need to be forwarded…JUMP IN!!