With AUTISM AWARENESS MONTH (APRIL) AND AUTISM AWARENESS DAY (APRIL 2ND) COMING UP – I decided to reach out to several parents that have a child with autism and asked if they would like to tell their story. You all have heard Carter’s story – but I wanted you all to know about others living with autism. I originally wanted to wait until April – but I thought these stories would be a great way to lead in to Autism Awareness month.
There is not one child/adult with autism that is a like. The only thing they have in common is autism. I have talked to many parents with a child with autism and not one of their stories are the same…
I am honored to share Curt’s story with you – through the words of his mother, Holly…
Almost every mother watches their child’s development – from infant to toddler. When Curt was developing I noticed he would line up toys by color and he wouldn’t look at me or anyone else when his name was called. Curt didn’t seem to understand what was said to him unless he was shown a visual. Example: If I said “Curt let me change your diaper” he would not understand – but the moment he saw a diaper in my hand he would lay down to be changed.
It took 11 months from the time I started seeking help to when I finally got help for him. I called Tennessee’s Early Invention System (TEIS) in for an evaluation. The lady came to my home for 15 minutes and told me I was paranoid. As a mother I wondered what was wrong with me. Why was I thinking something was wrong with my child? I backed off for a while – UNTIL he started preschool. The first day of preschool his teacher told me she was concerned because she thought he couldn’t hear (she already knew my concerns). That started us on a process to see an Audiologist who told me “Well mom he has a peewee”. At that point I was done. Two months later my brother turned 18 and I had a small gathering of family at our home. As soon as people came in he fled out the door. I knew then that on Monday I had to see his pediatrician and I was NOT leaving without a speech evaluation and a referral to a specialist. That’s exactly what I did and within two weeks we had a diagnosis. Curt was less then 2 weeks from turning 3 years old – he will be 6 years old April 9th. Shortly after his diagnosis, we started the process of getting him enrolled in school.
Curt has overcome a lot in a short period of time. He is communicating with words now. He learned to sing during Christmas of 2012 and has since become very verbal. Taking him to church use to be a nightmare, however – presently he loves Sunday School and Children’s Church. Anything socially was very difficult for Curt but now he enjoys getting out. He likes to interact and play with other children.
In my opinion, one of the worse misconceptions of autism is the “LOOK” when I tell a person Curt has autism. I’ve heard way to often “He doesn’t look Autistic” – I feel some people think I’ve made up this diagnosis to excuse his behavior.
The one thing that I would like people to know is – Everyone with Autism is different, it is not a one size fits all diagnosis.
Thank you, Holly, for sharing Curt’s story!
ARE YOU READY??
Last year, on April 2nd, I asked my friends and family to wear blue in support of Carter and every child/adult living with autism. We were simply overwhelmed by the pictures that were sent to us. April is Autism Awareness month and April 2nd is Autism Awareness day. This year my husband and I are challenging our friends and family again to wear blue and light your homes up blue on April 2nd. We thought we would make it fun this year and have a contest… everyone that sends their pics in to us of them wearing blue and/or lighting their house up blue on April 2nd – will get a chance to win some really cool prizes. So – get ready for the “Carter’s Encouraging Friends Rock” Contest … more details will follow in the next week or so! ARE YOU UP FOR THIS SIMPLE CHALLENGE – BRINGING AWARENESS – WITH A SPLASH OF BLUE FUN?