My Child Has Autism: Now What?

Autism concept: Pawns in different colors on top of toy dice

When my boys were over a year old, they still weren’t saying much. I figured they were late bloomers when it came to talking and it didn’t concern me. Until they were about 2 and a half and still were struggling to speak. I was getting a little nervous. They spoke to each other in their own babble, but never English.

My first thought was that they were autistic. I took my boys to a speech therapist and spoke to them about the situation. To my relief, the doctors had determined they were not autistic. It was almost ignorant of me to have thought that my children being autistic would be the worst possible thing in the world. I’ll tell you now, it’s not.

It’s a good thing that I was concerned, because you just never know.

What I did find out, is that my boys had their own twin language. Yes, that is a thing..

When twins make up their own language it is called “autonomous languages“. It is completely normal and in my opinion kind of cool. That means they were actually pretty smart that they made their own language that no one understood.

Although I knew that there was nothing wrong with them, they were still struggling with their speech. It was uncomfortable for me and I’m sure dreadful for them. So we have been taking them to speech classes for a year now. We also have them in a day care school at our local church so they can interact with other children their age.

Their speech is still a work in progress but it is slowly getting better.

My daughter, now almost 2 years old also had been having speech issues. We figured that it must have been in our genes. At the time I realized this she had just turned 1. So we kept trying to get her to interact and there was something different this time. My two boys would constantly talk to her and play with her but she wasn’t acting normal. There were times where she was acting like a normal baby, and then other times where it felt as though it was a different child. So we took her on play dates and tried to get her to interact more but it wasn’t helping. We finally decided to take her to a child development specialist.

That’s when Delilah, our daughter, was diagnosed with mild autism.

After I heard those words I was in ultimate shock. I was worried when my boys went in to get checked but this was different. I couldn’t understand why and I kept thinking it was my fault. My loving nerdy husband who loves science understood what that meant and he handled it way better than I did. It’s not that I was mad or embarrassed, I was just empathizing for my child. I was worried about bullies, making friends, going to homecoming, being a teenager, and I didn’t want her to have to struggle through those years more than a preteen and teen already do.  Safety was another concern so we made sure to get an alarm system in our home in Roswell, GA.  Our child would often wander in the middle of the night, so the alarm put our minds at ease.

As I have finally come to terms with it, I realize that this doesn’t mean she will have a horrible life. I realized this is going to make Delilah strong.

So  now we have decided that we will enroll Delilah in speech therapy classes for her case of autism. She is perfect just they way she is and I will continue to love her uncontrollably, but I also want her to have the opportunity to excel in whatever she decides to do in her life, and this will just help her grow as a baby.

 

If you are concerned about your child here are some good  steps to take!

1. Make sure you are speaking to your child as often as possible and trying to teach them simple words.

2. If your child is still struggling by the age of two, go to a doctor and seek professional advice

3. If there are not results, and your child just has a speech issue, sign him up for speech therapy.

4. Try to take them to classes so they can interact with other children their age.

5. If you are still concerned, contact the nearest child development specialist in your area.

IF you are concerned your child has autism, here is a good website to get information. Autism Speaks

 

Toys that Enhance Language Development

I did so much research looking for the best hi tech toys for my kids that help with their speech, but what I ended up finding out was that toys with no batteries are actually the best.

Some toys I have found that are fun for my kids and help them include:

  • Blocks
  • Big legos
  • A super cute farm set with animals and people figures that are bigger so there’s less of a choking hazard.
  • Step 2 Water Table
  • Pretend Kitchen
  • Play food and Kitchen ware
  • Mr. Potato head (my daughter now plays with him)
  • My boys love Imaginext toys, and they are safe too.
  • Baby Dolls