As most of you know both our kids have been diagnosed with Autism last June of 2018. To say that it was a punch in the gut hearing that diagnosis for not one but both of your kids is an understatement. I did not know where to turn, who to speak with, what to do.. My daily therapy sessions were in my car when I was alone and able to breakdown and cry and ask why over and over again. I was constantly playing back the evaluations in my head, defending their behavior, I kept saying to myself they are only 2 years old these behaviors are totally normal for that age. Naturally they were ALL wrong! Not my kids!! However, I knew deep down inside something was off. My son went from his first words being "Oh God" at age 1 to becoming completely non-verbal after 18 months. I can remember my daughter saying Hi to me when I would change her at 7 months old and then stopped saying anything. They never acknowledged when you would call their name, they were definitely always in their own little world, and never acknowledged each other. This bond that twins are supposed to have from birth, my kids didn't have. Spinning and loud noises of excitement happened off and on. I was always secretly comparing what my kids do and don't do with other kids. During one of my many therapeutic driving sessions, I said to myself I need to stop playing victim and start fighting for my kids. I knew I had to be their voice and get them started with services immediately. The most important thing is that they are Happy and Healthy.
Since their diagnosis a year ago, Hayden and Logan immediately stared Early Intervention Services with ABA and Speech therapies. My son Logan was completely non- verbal and my daughter Hayden was losing her vocabulary. In one of my past Facebook posts I talked about how I have never heard my son call me Mom. Well I am happy to report that through all his hard work, I now hear over and over again Momma or Mommy!! His vocabulary is getting better each week. He is now putting two words together and sings me the ABC song everyday. HE IS TALKING!! We did not know if that was going to ever happen . There was a strong chance that he was not going to speak and talks with his teachers about teaching him sign language had started. I knew in my heart of hearts that he would talk one day and I kept telling his teachers that. Hayden's vocabulary has returned and she is speaking again. They answer to their name, and are starting to form a bond and interact with each other. This is not because of some miracle, it is because of their therapies and hard work each and every day. Starting in September Hayden and Logan will be attending NIS for the next two years to prepare them for Kindergarten. They will receive all their therapies there and I am so excited for them to start this new and exciting chapter. It is not always rainbows and butterflies, there are many tough days when I want to throw in the towel. It breaks my heart watching my kids have a tough time interacting with other kids. The simple things like playing with toys and pretend play, my kids have to have classes on and learn how to do that. As of now they have to attend school year around so they don’t regress and lose what they have learned. Not a day goes by that I don't fear regression with my children. We have a long road ahead of us but thankfully we have such an amazing support system through our family and friends and the autism community. There are so many wonderful programs that we have recently learned about and became a part of. It is so important to continue these programs and therapies with children and adults with Autism.
My family and I will be walking to raise funds for the mission of Autism Speaks - to fuel innovative research and make connections to critical lifelong supports and services for the autism community. Please support me by donating and help me meet my fundraising goal - and you, too, can join the team and make an impact for people living with autism.
My family and I thank you for your continued support.