My Special Child

Life was going smoothly for me with marriage, job and finances all in place. My first baby was ten months old. As I was an only child of my parents and had no other children, experience with child rearing was very limited for me. Still, I was confident I was doing a great job.

One day I went to see an old school friend of mine who had just moved in the city. I discovered she had three kids, her youngest one was two. I spent a good two hours with her chatting and catching up, and
then she casually mentioned that it might be a good idea to get my daughter checked by a doctor. I didn't see any reason for that but, she told me that she was worried as my child wasn't as responsive as she should be at this age.

My baby hardly ever made eye contact and didn't respond when called to. I had always thought she was too small to do all these things but, my friend told me otherwise. I believed her because she had
more experience than me and so I took her to a pediatrician. Much to my dismay, the doctor sort of confirmed that my daughter was autistic, though he was unsure of where she lay on the spectrum. I
was shattered!

My husband and I grieved over the diagnosis and questioned ourselves for days. We took her to other specialists who confirmed the bad news. They were helpful and gave us ideas and tips on how to help
our child.

Form then onwards, I quit my job and started working from home so I could be with her all the time. I paid special attention to her movements, practiced speech therapy with her as she grew older, and read a lot of material on autism. I was overjoyed to find out that
she was on the lower end of the autism spectrum meaning she was 'not very autistic'.

The first time she said, "Mommy" at the age of two, I couldn't stop crying. She is now four and a half and goes to school. She still does not make eye contact much, keeps to herself, is obsessed with just a
couple of toys in her room, but is generally doing okay so far.

I believe God gives special children to only those who He thinks are capable of undertaking the responsibility. My child is very special to me in every way and I thank the Lord for giving me such a
beautiful gift. Autism is nothing something to be afraid of.

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Sep 11, 2016
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Special Child NEW
by: Mr.T.

We too experienced the highs and lows both pre and post diagnosis. Thankfully, with local and online resources we were able to at least address some of the issues from an informed point of reference. Our approach to interacting, teaching and responding to our child changed and as a result, in most cases improved dramatically.

We stopped questioning our parenting capabilities and acknowledged that our wonderful child has special needs that require special treatment (patience, love, compassion, empathy and work). It has not been easy but it has been getting better. School has been especially challenging because others (teachers, administrators, students) neither have the knowledge or inclination to interact with our child productively. Because it is an "invisible" disorder, they frequently perceived our child as being rude, spoiled, disruptive and difficult. After years of back and forth and a lot of educating by us we have developed better awareness for the staff involved who have hopefully relayed the challenges to the students. It is hard work. You constantly second-guess yourself and re-evaluate how you are raising the child. Hang in there though, things get better. And most important, remember your sense of humor, laugh a lot, remind yourself of the many awesome moments you and your child have as much as possible. It helps diminish the weight of the challenges and helps you appreciate the happy times.

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