This is Anothony's story. This item was emailed to this blog--AR
Our story starts out like so many others that have been touched by autism.
I found out I was pregnant in Dec. of 2004, just 3 weeks after the death of my Grandmother. I pretty much had a normal pregnancy, very unlike my first. I had a beautiful baby boy Aug. 26th 2003, he weighed 7 lbs 5 oz and we named him Anthony.
Anthony pretty well developed normally, met all his millstones on time if not a little early. Anthony said "Mama" by age 8 months, he walked a week before his first birthday and had acquired a vocabulary of maybe 10 words that he used regularly.
Then around the age of about 13 months old, I started to notice some sensory problems ( my oldest also had/has sensory problems) so I talked to his Dr. and at the time he told me not to worry about it, at that time I thought maybe I was being a bit paranoid about things and blew it off, now I so much regret that I ever did that because I knew in my heart something was wrong. Then around the age of 18 months I noticed Anthony wasn't talking as much and he was withdrawing from a lot of things he normally wouldn't withdraw from. He got very interested in fans or anything that spun, he would sit and line things up, it also seemed he was crying all the time over every little thing bt yet he would make eye contact.
I then called birth to 3 myself and asked them to come check things out and I also talked to his Dr at this point yet again and told him everything that was going on, he then informed me that he had a child with autism and "looking at the big picture" he thought Anthony may have autism and I left his office thinking that Anthony did not have it because he was still making eye contact. I figured it was something else but wasn't sure what.
Birth to 3 came and did the evaluations on him and they said he did have delays as well as Sensory processing disorders and he was able to receive services, speech, OT as well as PT. His Dr also referred him to a specialist in VA. Which I thank God for this man every single day.
Anthony went to see him in Nov. of 05 and that day will haunt me for the rest of my life. We went into this office, and his nurse asked us a bunch of questions, and just watched him for a little bit and then said she was going to get the Dr. to talk to us, the Dr came in and did the same thing that the nurse had done and then said he was going to take Anthony and my oldest child out to the lobby to play ( they had a huge lobby that was very kid friendly) and that he would be back to talk to us.
When this Dr came back in, that changed our lives forever. He told us Anthony had autism and I looked at him and said " No your wrong, he looks at us, he makes eye contact" he then explained to us that what we were "considering" eye contact was not eye contact at all, he felt like Anthony could see right through him and I have no idea what was said after that. I sat there in shock, thinking this Dr is so wrong, this is not happening to my beautiful boy, not to my family. I left that office with my husband and my kids and some pamphlets about autism.
On the way back home (which was a 2 hour drive from where we lived) I remember going through so many emotions, there was many tears, I felt helpless, I blamed myself, then I got angry. I have never felt that much anger in my life. I wanted to know what happened, I wanted answers that wasn't there.
About 2 weeks went by and I actually started to research, and found all this stuff about shots mainly the MMR and I actually went to his Dr and asked if the shot has caused this and he said there's no proof that the shot had done this to so many kids so I left it at that. I felt at the time I would probably never have an answer and instead of looking for something that was not there, I needed to help my son. Somehow I had to get past the autism and find my son before I could ever help him.
Today Anthony is a happy 4 year old who just amazes me in so many ways. He has had a life full of therapy, OT, PT, Speech, ABA, DTT, and has had a very good home program. He is in a very good special needs preschool program with a wonderful teacher and wonderful therapist. Anthony loves school, he knows all his shapes, counts to 10 in Spanish, knows his ABC's and has become quit the little singer.
I remember a time not to long ago when I begged God to let me hear him say "mama" just once more, I needed to hear that from him and it hurt so bad to hear other little kids his age calling for "mama" and Anthony just couldn't do it. Now Anthony says "Mama I love you" and it's so beautiful to watch him grow, to see the things he does, to hear him laugh, to see him smile. I don't see the autism anymore, I see my baby, I see how blessed I am to have autism touch our lives and I wouldn't want it any other way. Autism can be a beautiful thing once you see your child. Once that happens the world is a different place, as adults we tend to take things for granted and we never stop to look at things from a child's point of view, where everything is so new. Having Anthony made me do that. He's nothing short of amazing!
I love someone with Autism!