I admit I’ve been putting off this post for a while. Why? I’m really not sure but I guess I wasn’t sure if I was ready to share it with the world yet. (Pfft as if the whole world reads my blog!).
Aidan is now 2 years and 3 months old. He is clever, funny and extremely happy. He is healthy and thriving in most aspects of toddler life – tantrums included. However, Aidan does not speak. He has yet to say his first word. Now, everybody will be quick to tell you the story of their friend’s child or husband’s cousin who didn’t talk until they were 3 or 4 and truth be told I didn’t think about his speech delay as an issue for a very long time. My lovely friend, Stacey has a little boy, Jacob, who is around the same age as Aidan. Months ago she began to mention how she was thinking that Jacob may have autism based on different things he did. I thought ”Aidan does those things but there is no way he has autism”. As time went on and Aidan’s speech still hadn’t started I began to look into ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) a little more. I noticed that Aidan had quite a few of the traits that were ‘stereotypical’ for a child with ASD. He would spin, laugh randomly, only eat certain foods, avoid eye contact with strangers and didn’t answer to his name a lot of the time. (Among other things)
We had our 2 year check up with the public health nurse and I told her about my concerns. She suggested that we see a speech therapist first and they could refer us to the autism assessment team if needed. She thought it might be a speech issue and the other ‘flags’ from frustration at being unable to communicate. But that’s where she is wrong. Aidan doesn’t struggle to communicate at all. He can tell us what he wants, how he feels and what he needs, just without using words. He never gets frustrated at being unable to communicate because he can, in a non-verbal way. Which we are very lucky about. However, we went ahead and decided to get the speech assessment first.
Currently, we are waiting to hear from them with a date for his assessment, which should be within the next 8 weeks. We have made a few changes which have had a massive impact – I will talk about that in a separate post. Most importantly we are taking steps to getting help. When I looked into ASD the main thing all the websites say is that early intervention is key. We want Aidan to get all the help he needs now and all the help we can to know what we need to do for him.
And, that’s where I have been the past few months. We are only starting on our new path which will have many ‘bumps and roundabouts’, I’m sure. So, thank you for sticking around when I have been far from consistent but as I’m sure all who read my blog know – Family always comes first!