Before Harley was diagnosed if you were to ask me my definitions of Autism, they would have been very stereotypical and quite inaccurate. If I’m honest I didn’t really know much about it at all.
I do know that every child on the Autism spectrum are different although there are some similarities in the early signs which I have learnt after speaking to other parents whose children have also been diagnosed with Autism.
Harley was diagnosed at 3 years old which I was relieved about, it meant there was a reason for some of his actions and behaviour and that we could make sure we could plan for Harley’s future.
At Harley’s 18 month check up I did flag a few of my concerns, he showed little or no interest in other people other than his immediate family, his speech was minimal, he didn’t say mummy until he was 3, he didn’t smile a lot unless he was cuddled, many of his photos taken in his early years show no emotional expression. Another sign which could go undetected was that at 18 months Harley became and extremely fussy eater and would not eat anything moist. So no yogurt, cereal with milk, ice cream, cheese sauce etc…
At an early age Harley became fascinated with anything that had wheels, and latched onto my iPad, like a new best friend. He would arrange his cars in amazing patterns all over the living room floor and if you moved one he would have a meltdown which was so disproportionate to the action of one car being moved. To us is very over the top but to him, we had destroyed his amazing creation which he sometimes spent over an hour creating. We soon learnt not to disturb his play without plenty of warning and communication.
Harley was formally diagnosed with being on the Autism spectrum in September 2014, since diagnose we have had so much help and support and Harley is thriving. We are fortunate that we did not ignore the signs and can see how people can brush these signs under the carpet no alway intentional either.
I look forward to sharing with you Harley’s progress, his up and downs, and those special moments that bring us immense joy.
Please feel free to share your story too.