I just had a touching conversation with a woman who suspects her three-year old nephews might be autistic. However, she doesn’t know how to suggest it to her sister. This reminded me of when I first noticed that my son was different from other babies. Even as a baby younger than 12 months, I knew he was different. He had major sensory issues. He couldn’t feed himself. He was nonverbal for about a year and a half. He had emotional breakdowns. I had to intuit all of his needs. As a first-time mom wanting to do everything right for my son, I was extremely afraid of an autism diagnosis. I took him to doctors who all gave different opinions. Some said developmental delays. Others said he would grow out of it. I didn’t want to accept that he had autism because I didn’t know what it meant moving forward. Would he always be dependent on me? Could he go to school? Would he be bullied? How would he navigate the world by himself? How would I ensure proper nutrition since he wouldn’t eat different kinds of foods? I had so many questions and worries.
I still have worries, but God has shown me in a few short years that nothing is impossible with Him. After I enrolled my son in speech and occupational therapies (from the age of 1) and made use of early intervention services, I have seen my son progress by leaps and bounds. Once nonverbal, he can now express himself and communicate his wants and needs. When I met a friend’s teenage son who has autism and wasn’t toilet trained, I thought my son would never be potty trained. My son is now potty trained. I also thought that the diagnosis meant that he was intellectually slower than other children. That also couldn’t be farther from the truth. My son taught himself how to read. He’s in kindergarten and does well. So, God has shown me in just a few years that I shouldn’t place limitations on my son because of a diagnosis and what man says. My son has autism, but the sky is still the limit. There’s no telling what he will become.
If you suspect your child has autism, or you want to suggest to a family member or friend that their child might be autistic, go to God in prayer first. Ask God to help you in the initial stages of a diagnosis. Ask God to help you gently bring up the subject to your family member or friend. Pray that God prepares your heart and the hearer’s heart to receive the suggestion. If it’s your child, do not be afraid. Yes, you will have challenges that other parents do not have to face, but God will equip and empower you to minister to your child. God will lead you to resources to help your child meet developmental milestones and flourish. Have faith in God. Autism is not a death sentence to the dreams you have for your child.
Visit the following link from Autism Speaks for signs your child might be autistic: Click here.