By Kristen Callow, Autism mum…
Almost seven and a half years years ago, doctors officially confirmed what my husband and I had suspected: we had a wonderful 3-year-old daughter who was full of potential (as every child is).
No, she wasn’t “just quirky”…she wasn’t “just spirited”…she wasn’t “just extra sensitive.” She was on the autism spectrum. (Seven and a half years later, she still is ALL of those things!)
I will always be grateful to two friends from my mothers’ group for encouraging me to take those first critical steps toward a proper assessment, especially since EVERYONE else was telling me “Don’t worry.”
As long as I am able, I will continue to zealously stress the mantra “When in doubt, check it out!” any time I hear another parent express concern about their child’s development (and if someone says “Oh don’t worry…Einstein didn’t speak till he was four,” or “He can’t possibly be autistic…he is affectionate,” you can be sure that they will hear from me!)
And as long as I am able, I will extend my hand to other parents who are coming to terms with a potential or new diagnosis because I will never forget the overwhelming mix of emotions I felt when this picture was taken.
The gift of time has allowed me to internalise something so important that I didn’t fully appreciate back then.
In the words of a fellow mom whose blog touched me:
“I can do this. This is not a tragedy. And I am not alone.”
True on all fronts.
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