Hey there! A few days ago, I had an idea to create a blog surrounding ASD ( Autism Spectrum Disorder) awareness. I’ve been seeing loads of information online surrounding ASD, so this a an awesome time to learn about it. Before my son’s diagnosis, I had no idea of what ASD was which is probably a typical stance. Hopefully, these posts will shed some light on ASD and give you some insight from the perspective of Alll0 and his family.
The picture above is a compilation of Alll0 and I over the summer. He did the water color eye glasses at school and I did the rest, not sure if he planned them to be eye glasses but in my artistry I improvised. Also, Alll0 is a creative way of saying his name as well as protecting his privacy.
To begin I am married 17 years, with three children that are 8 years apart. The oldest is 22, then my 14 year old and my only son is 6. When my son was born he was healthy and strong. He made excellent strides, however, when I went to his routine physical I realized he missed a few benchmarks for his age. He has always been on the 98th percentile for growth, so in my eyes he was healthy. I admit there were other concerns regarding his speech which was ineligible, and in his frustration he would get upset when I couldn’t understand him. There was a part of me that wondered if he was a late bloomer, so I thought since he was my only son that maybe he was just an active boy.
The warning signs were there, and as I attempted to get through the chapter in my life that included a possible diagnosis of ASD, I was still in denial. When he was two I didn’t have a babysitter so my mother agreed to watch him while I went to class. At this time I was attending Monroe Community College for Entrepreneurial Business. When I picked him up from my mother’s house I could sense something was wrong in her eyes as she said, “it’s time for you to get him seen by the doctor.” She continued to tell me how he ran out of the house and down the street without her knowledge and by the grace of God, a stranger saw him running down the street by himself and stopped his vehicle. When my mother finally realized he was missing, she ran out just as the driver was getting out of his vehicle and she ran down the street. She later confided in me that it wasn’t the first time, my heart sank. I thought about his safety, and everything wrong that could have happened. It was time for me to consider Alll0.
As paranoia set in, I began to notice he was what I called free spirited and fearless. Always active, unaware of danger, bolting away from me. So yes I was paranoid, I stayed in the house a lot and I was afraid of taking him outside. His diagnosis of Autism came shortly after. Our lives would be forever changed. Stay tuned for more.
Parents and caregivers, if you suspect that your child is exhibiting mannerisms and behavior that is out of the ordinary, it’s always great to do your research and seek professional assistance. There are many programs and services in your state that are available for diagnosis and early intervention services as well as support groups such as Autism Up.