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How I Diagnosed Autism in my Son

When Sebastian was born he was one of my easiest babies out of all seven. He slept and ate just fine. He smiled and was happy, but was delayed in walking and talking. He did not walk until he was 3 years old. I talked to the pedestrians but they did not show much concern. He seemed to be doing fine and I thought maybe I was just being over concerned. He was my 5th child and each one was a little different from the other. When he did start to walk he really never did crawl or walk for that matter, but run and run and run, almost like he was trying to run away from something and I was running after him. Thank God I had 4 other kids to help me run after him too. Going to the mall and grocery store was always a struggle too because he would be running there too, I couldn’t keep him by me for a minute.
sebby-golf-1-copyHe did stop to play and then he would play and play and play for hours. For a long time I thought he just loved toys and it gave me a break to enjoy him instead of running after him. When he got to be 2 or 3 years old he would only play with one type of toy and that toy would entertain him for days and sometimes weeks. I remember him playing only with Imaginext by Fisher-Price for two or three months setting it all up and then setting it up again. Then suddenly he would move on to another toy and do the same thing. He did not talk until he was almost 4 years old but would point at what he needed.  The doctors said he was spoiled because he had so many brothers and sisters to help him and he did not feel the need to talk. They diagnosed him with ADHD and told me it was a good thing I was homeschooling him because he would not need medicine.

We went to Disney World shortly after this diagnoses and stayed at the Marriot World Center. If you have ever been to this resort the lobby opens up several floors and you can see the rooms and hallways above. It is a beautiful hotel and great place to stay, but not for Sebastian. As soon as we entered the hotel lobby he ran. Disney World was no better I thought I would loose him and I did have a little backpack that he wore attached with a leash. I thought it was a good idea but most people shook their heads at me in disgust, not understanding the fear I had of loosing him in the crowds. When we would go back to the hotel it was worse because as soon as we entered the lobby he would run.

I actually left Disney 2 days early and checked out of the hotel at 3 in morning and drove home exhausted and in despair!  I knew it had to be more than ADHD. It suddenly  dawned on me that Sebastian could not stand noise and that was what he was running from. The stores are loud the football games are loud and the Marroit World Center hotel lobby echoed with noise of people and commotion. I felt like we were all living in a nightmare and Sebastian was in the middle of it. When I got home I was determined to figure out what was wrong with him. I got on the computer and googled all of his symptoms. When I read on autism I knew Sebastian had a lot of the characteristics of high functioning autism. At that moment I felt relief because now I could help him. I was scared but I figured if Albert Einstein had this we would someday be ok. With lots of love, patience and understanding, Sebastian has out grown many of his earlier symptoms. He has learned to compensate on his own for things that bother him. Who knows what Sebastian will grow up and be but I can be certain it will be something great!

Tamara, Founder OGP

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1 Comment on How I Diagnosed Autism in my Son

  1. Lorrie Fontana // February 25, 2017 at 11:15 AM // Reply

    Thank you for sharing your story, my sister has a son who is autistic, I remember when he was younger around 5yrs I would take him for a few hours to give her a much needed break (he hadn’t been diagnosed yet but we knew there was problems) I took him to the mall….that was 15 years ago and it feels like it was yesterday, I turned my head for a second and he was gone, I had no idea a child could run so fast, I found him minutes later out in the parking lot of the mall with another family who was disturbed by him because they were ignorant and angry at me for allowing him out of my sight, he had his hands over his ears and going in circles, ( to this day he wears headphones to block out noise) I left the mall immediately in tears but tears of being thankful that he was safe. I’m thankful for the awareness that’s been made to shine a light on Autism, it’s so complex…..My nephew will never be independent but he is amazing and brilliant in so many ways, I’m so proud of him. God bless you and your family and for sharing a bit of your journey💙🙏🏻😇

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