Our daughter, Teghan, was officially diagnosed with Autism at the age of three. I say “officially” because we kind of knew for a long time. Although she was ahead of schedule with all of her milestones, the signs were there from the beginning. Autism affects language and social skills – something babies develop over time. So autism reveals itself slowly over time, as well. But there are moments when you know.
At first, we would wake up in the morning and think something had happened to her. She never woke us up. She has always been a great sleeper, but she was funny about waking up. She would play in her crib, sometimes for hours before we would even know she was awake. She never attempted to call for us or get our attention. She said words at the appropriate age, but never “mama” or “dada.” And not really words with purpose. Eventually she stopped saying them altogether.
She didn’t point. She didn’t show things to us, or show any desire to invite others into her world. She was content to quietly play by herself, all day if we let her. She didn’t seem upset when we left, she didn’t seem excited when we returned. But not always. I mean, she never pointed or shared, EVER. But she was playful. She was always happy. She seemed excited about some things, and in those moments she seemed incredibly normal. That is why everyone said she was fine. That is why we talked ourselves out of it so many times. But we did have to talk ourselves out of it… because there were times when we knew. Continue reading