Our Autism Story:
When Jack was 14 months old, he ignored us. (Autism affect is usually noticed by parents and other caregivers during the child's first 3 years.) We had very little awareness of what autism was. He was such a good baby. He rarely cried and was easily entertained in front of the television. He never responded to his name when we called him. Was he deaf? (It often appears that a child with autism does not hear.) All I could think of was how hard sign language would be. When we put him outside to play, he collected twigs in the yard. He would have handfuls of them. (Another core autism symptom is an unusual focus on pieces.) Dropping one of them would enrage him. We thought that maybe he'd be a "lumber jack" someday and sort of laughed it off. (Signs of autism can be difficult to identify or diagnose during infancy.)
When someone suggested to me that Jack might have autism, I didn't know what to make of it. As a medical person, I knew of autism, but not in great detail. When I looked up the signs and symptoms of autism, it was as if they were written just for Jack. Naturally, we were in denial for two months thereafter. We would watch him, study him, and look for something that would say that we were just over-reacting.
When we finally did get an evaluation of autism, we were relieved in a weird sort of way. At least we knew he would be getting help! (Most children improve with early and intensive treatment.) Jack is now doing beautifully! He's talking nicely, has the academic prowess of his older sister, and enjoys karate and swimming. Eric, Jack's younger brother, also continues to improve each day. Our mistake was that we thought he'd be just like Jack, basically, same gene-pool, same kid. How wrong we were! In fact, I thought Eric was imitating Jack rather than realizing that he too had autism. Now that's denial!
We are so grateful to Marion K. Solomon for sending us the most amazing teachers that you could ever hope to have. In addition, DDI Medford/YAP and their beautiful teachers that work so selflessly, have inspired Jack to learn and communicate. We will forever be indebted and eternally grateful to these teachers.
Please help us raise funds for programs on Long Island that work with children diagnosed with autism.
*E J Autism Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) charity eligible for matching funds.
Tax ID #: 32-0156987
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