With a butterfly kiss,
Sleep tight little ones,
Here's what autism looks like for us: At 2 years old, Grady was diagnosed with mild autism, sensory integration disorder and was categorized as “non-verbal”. He wouldn’t make eye contact, he wouldn’t point at objects he wanted…we just always knew without him saying literally a word. He wouldn't sit still for more an a few seconds, he was constantly running, thumping or banging himself into furniture. He would bang his head on the floor and flap his arms like he was a bird taking flight.
I'll never forget the day I realized something was different with my son. We were celebrating a child's birthday party at Build-A-Bear. All the kids were having fun picking out animals and stuffing them with fluff. Grady was running up and down the walls...like he was a tiger pacing his cage. That’s all he would do, he wouldn’t pick out a toy, wouldn’t sit and play with the other kids, just ran around the store without a rhyme or reason. Later that week, one of my best friends told me that she believed Grady has autism and suggested we get him evaluated. A few weeks later he was diagnosed.
At 4, he’s made tremendous progress thanks to tons of love, support, and early intervention. He attends school for children with disabilities, where he receives speech, occupational and behavioral therapy. Next year he'll be graduating to a typical pre-k class! Every day he learns new words and skills. He’s so full of energy and love, he’s our little social butterfly. He knows all his letters, can count to 30 and count backwards from 20. This morning he woke up next to me and we had the following conversation…
“I love you”
2 years ago I was unsure if my baby would ever be able to utter the words “I love you”. This is what autism looks like for our family right now. We don't know what it will look like in the future or the obstacles he’ll have to overcome. All I do know is, I love and accept him for who he is and will never stop giving him the support he needs.