Okay, I was aware that Brandon had a few more verbal skills than other toddlers his age...But, at the age of 22 months he can count 1-12 in english and spanish? Yep.. You can imagine our surprise when he blurted out; uno, dos , tres, and so-on until he skipped 10 and went stright to eleven and tweleve.....Dora has taught him alot, so has Blues Clues... yes I admit my Kiddo is a T.V.-holic! He enjoys watching his 5yr old brother watch T.V. and I guess he has picked up a few things? Not to mention he knows 9 different colors and has letter reconition....Chris taught him that stuff... Never knew he knew what pink was until he got home from his grandmothers house! .... He doesn't understand blue... to him it's azul.. you guessed it, more spanish :)
Don't get me wrong I am not trying to show off at all! Honest! It just amazes me how kids his age are like little sponges. Hillard (my 5yr old) is autistic, and his toddler yrs were very different form others. He was our first child so we had no clue what he should and shouldn't be doing... His obsessive habits, the constant meltdowns, no eye contact, now I actually have an idea how serious his situation was, and still is!
This month is Autism Awareness month
...And I would like to share our story with you:
Hillard was 14 months old when I began to worry that he wasn't progressing like he should. His cousin (Thomas) was only 4 months younger than him and began to point and speak simple words... We thought Hillard is just running a little behind and he will grow in his own time.. 16 months rolls around and still his meltdowns were worse and still nothing! I brought him to our Ped.Dr. and she said we should wait until he is 2 to take any action. That was absolutely unacceptable in my book, we dropped her like a hot potato!
I thought maybe Hillard needed contact with childern his age (I was a stay at home mom) so I got a job at a local day care and signed him up! Oh it just got worse! He had no interest in his peers and just sat in the corner by himself and did repetitve behaviors that we now know is "stimming"... The teachers obsereved that he maybe deaf because he didn't respond to their voices..He was almost 2 yrs old and still didn't know his own name ..I knew he wasn't deaf because if he heard something he liked 3 rooms away he went running! He was sooooo different from all the other children, it was painfully obvious that something wasn't right.
I accepted something was wrong is when Hillard stopped dancing... I am tearing up as I write this part.. Hillard always responded to music by dancing, and one day he just stopped. He had slipped away.
I knew Chris was ready to accept something was wrong when we visited my sisters house and Thomas smiled and looked at his dad and pointed to the moon and said "MOON!" Richard (Thomas's father) smiled and said "yes, your right thats the moon!".... The sadness in my husbands face crushed me!
These two moments will always live forever in my mind.....And I cry evertime I think of them.
Hillard never acknowledged the world around him.. If a bird flew by, he didn't notice, if a plane was flying above he didn't notice....He just didn't seem to care about the bustling world around him.. He was missing that part of his brain that makes toddlers want to learn! And that was just the begining... He started developing typical "Autistic Characteristics" as he grew older, and still to this day.
Hillard is now in a great autism program with our local public school district and is doing well... He is still considered non-verbal because his speech is still spuratic and minimal. He is very smart and does a few savant things with letters and numbers. He has always given big bear hugs
and always likes to smile
We will be taking him to a new doctor for Autism this summer in Baton Rough LA and look forward to what she might say.
I didn't want to focus too much on the bad behaviors in this story b/c they are very depressing and I can't afford to get down... We as a family have tried to stay positive and happy, it is our only defense against this horrible disorder.
If you want more information about Autism please give these websites a look-see :) This first one is my favorite.. it is an ESPN commercial and it make me and Chris cry every time we see it.ESPN CommercialSurfers HealingSymptoms/CharacteristicsMore info