This blog is something I have been meaning to start for about a year and a half now. It's something I wanted to start, wanted to start for over a year and a half now. It just came down to limits in time and all the other stuff life throws at us.
To be honest, if I had started this blog on the date of my son's diagnosis, or at least around that date, then there would have been quite a number of blog posts already.
The idea of this page, of these posts, is to basically talk, groan, moan and write about all the things I learn as I go through life with a child who has ASD or Autism, depending on which you prefer to use.
As this is the first post, I should start from the beginning and go forward. So, my son was born just over 4 years ago now, and seems quite healthy and developing well.
There were few points, looking back, like for example, he didn't learn to crawl or walk as quick as our older child, and he didn't really babble much. He also was never really a cuddly baby.
Fast forward a couple of years to when it was 2 and half years old. At this stage, he wasn't really talking apart from a couple of things. He was saying just Dada (that's where the Dada in the blog title came from) and the word Star; which he has since lost.
Talking with the health worker at that time, she wanted our son to go for an evaluation as she felt he had some signs of potentially having Autism or some other global learning issue.
So, we had a referral. A referral to have our son evaluated. This involved going to four sessions where he was in a room with 3 other children with similar potential conditions and a number of doctors and child care professional such as speech and language.
These sessions involved these experts (which some changed weekly) interacting with the kids in ways to bring out any reaction, a reaction such as allowing them to play with toys together and so on.
One thing I did learn at this time. Many say that one of the points to spotting Autism is low eye contact, and indeed this can be one item to look for. However, with our son he has very good eye contact. There are other things I could add to this that may or may not be a sign, but what I am trying to say is that if you're looking for a list of things to check off; not all of them apply to every child who may or may not have Autism.
Anyhow, back to the back story. After these 4 sessions, they went away for a few weeks to discuss. Finally calling us in a couple of weeks after the last session. Then came the diagnosis that our son had Autism.
The funny thing is, to us it didn't mean anything different in our son. I've read articles, I've talked to people, and seen many things on Autism. One of the things I've seen is people talking about a grieving period or something similar. I've even talked to one person who works with children and they even spoke about parents crying each time they talked to them.
To us, this diagnosis meant that we had a plan, help in moving our son forward. Help in getting a plan in place. What it didn't mean is our son was any different. He was still the same person he was before the diagnosis. He had not changed overnight. Maybe it's because we didn't plan his entire life in front of him, so we hadn't lost this entire life.
To us, he was no different to the person he had always been, and always would be. He had his personality. What I'm trying to say is, for all those that do feel grief, I can understand it, I can understand why and what they feel. Its just that we didn't feel this way, we hadn't lost a son, we had gained a plan.
So, it's 2017. Our son is now 4, well 4 and a quarter to be exact. It's been over a year and a half since the diagnosis and although he still doesn't speak (other than Dada), because of the plans we have put in place he understands how to communicate some stuff to us.
Now, I'm not going to detail everything in this first post, I will add things as I go along. Plans and actions we have put in place and how they worked for us.
I also plan to use this blog to talk about things that happen or are happening at that time. Such as getting him into school (we're at that stage now).
I don't plan to do much moaning or groaning, though some of that may come out. What I do want to put into this is the positive points and actions, things that can also help you as you go along this journey too.
I want to show you there is light at the end, light to move towards if you're also starting this journey.
So, I'll see you in the next post.. Thanks for reading this far and i'll hopefully be more to a point in future posts where I don't have to give you and year and half's back story