Zoom camera............

..........to the stunning, youthful redhead (hey, this is my movie) sitting on the couch. A two month old little girl is snuggled into her neck, dozing after having a bottle and her mother is trying to burp her. The baby snuffles and squirms a little, trying to get the wind up. Mum continues rubbing the babys' back and watches her 18 month old little boy play.

He is sitting on the floor by the window, with his back towards his Mum. He is banging a musical toy on the wooden floor. His Mum doesn't mind, this is how he plays with all his toys, you see. She calls his name, he does not respond and she has a little chuckle at how engrossed he gets. She knows that any moment now he will bring the toy over to her, take her hand and place it on the "on" button. She will turn the toy on, once again showing and explaining to him how it can be done. He won't say 'thank you' (he used to say "cuckoo") because he hasn't spoken any of his words recently, actually, not for quite a few months now.

While she waits, she allows her mind to wander, mentally compiling this weeks shopping list and contemplating other mundane household tasks, letting her mind just work on its own. The baby on her shoulder attempts to lift her head, but it flops back down again so Mum moves the baby to a more comfortable position, still on auto pilot. She sits on the couch, enjoying the moment and letting her mind float.

A fax message appears in her head (fax messages always seem to appear without a fuss). She mentally turned the fax message over and saw the words:

"oh ****, he is autistic".

End clip.

This is how it happened. I have had a few lightbulb moments in my life, but I can't remember now what they were because this is THE lightbulb moment.

I had no experience of Autism. I don't know how I knew because looking back now the signs are all there, but I am looking back with knowledge and understanding that I didn't have then. I had seen a PECS folder once, I had heard of ABA, and I had heard of reduced eye contact, but that was the sum total of my knowledge at the time the fax arrived.

Five months of uncertainty followed. Well meaning friends dismissed my fear. I listened to many "sure such and such didn't talk until he was 3" stories. I listened to "he has middle child syndrome", "he has regressed because of the new baby, he will be fine". Fax messages were a regular occurence by then. The latest fax screamed "I KNOW MY CHILD".

During those five months his severe delays in comprehension, language and social skills were noted by professionals. His eye contact was deemed "inappropriate". Then there was the observation that finally made me cry "he is not interacting with you, he is using you".

I cried for a week, but took a break for long enough to phone a psychiatrist and make an appointment to have my son assessed. At 23 months old he was diagnosed with ASD.

The relief was, and still is, enormous. Honestly! All the doubts are gone, the wondering is over and we have direction and can make a plan (I like to have a plan).

I still haven't figured out how I "knew". My husband calls my instinct 'MummyMagic'. I always know how to soothe my children, I always know when they are sick, there are so many things I just "know", the same as every mother knows their own children.

I believe that greater things go on in this world than we are aware of. I believe in Angels and I also believe they are the people who love us, but can't be with us, on earth. I believe they choose to watch over us and help out when they can. Maybe one of my Angels found a quiet moment, in my very busy head, to send a message.

Maybe it doesn't matter either. The important thing is that we have our information early and we have started on the road to helping our little boy. I like the idea of an Angel to help us though, it's comforting and, over the years, we are going to need some inspiration and guidance from our Angels.


Andra said...

Wow Jen what a wonderful first blog, brilliant insight into the journey you have begun with your redheaded little man. I believe in angels too, some are in heaven but most of my angels are here on earth, they help me carry on when things are tough. xxx

Petunia said...

Fabulous post Jen! Its amazing how each of us has a "penny dropping" moment. I love you analagy of the faxes... it describes the niggling feeling of doubts and observations perfectly. I hate with a passion all the cliches of "I know kids who didnt' talk til they were 3, or 4 or 5 (delete as appropriate) and then came out in full sentences..." or my old favourite "sure Einstein didn't talk til he was 3..." FFS Einstein had aspergers lol.

Well done on starting your blog! Look forward to following your story xxx

James.P. said...

Love this blog jen...gawd it brings me back. just like you, i was told about a gazillion times "boys are later to talk", "he's just lazy", "i know a child who didn't talk til he was 6" yada yada yada.
Mummymagic is the nectar of the gods.
I'm so looking forward to the next instalment
P.S I love redheads (hubby is one) but none of my kids have red hair...maybe the grandchildren will XXX

Anonymous said...

u have me in tears. I never had the lightbulb moment, but i think the not knowing is worse. i had that relief too.
and i still believe my angel watches him every single day and helps me to help him.
keep them comin jen

Anonymous said...

Wow, great blog Jen, you've defo got a way with words, like you, by the time Roo was 18 months I knew there was something wrong,I didn't know what, but knew something wasn't right, I got all the comments too, asked paed one day expecting him to say one of them comments too, floored me when he said "well actually he is showing several red flags for Autism" and there starts the journey. Also believe in angels, they must be fed up of me asking for help,Looking forward to reading more, well done and remember we're all in this together :)

Vicki (FB)

Hammie said...

I'm pretty sure my Nana Nene is too busy drinking Thousand Pipers Whiskey and playing the pokies (slots) in an inappropiately revealing dress she got in a thrift shop to be watching over me and my babies.
Hey if she has a win she might pick out a nice set of beer glasses or another ciggarette logo beach towel from the gift shop at the Club?? Sorry Nana but if the shoe fits.....

But knowing she is up there being as bad as she was on earth, gives me the certainty that all the power I have over this thing is here on earth with me. All my angels are on earth and I thank the Goddess for them everyday.

A beautiful first post Jen, you must have had this brewing for a while. Keep it up, much cheaper than prozac or Thousand Pipers Whiskey (although that is very cheap)


Patsyperdu said...

Hey Jen, so proud of you, brilliant!

Can't type much now, too many tears.

LOTS OF LOVE (I mean that)


Jen said...

Thanks everyone. It did feel good to get it out there, think there is a new monster being created lol

Anonymous said...

Hi Jen. This is brilliant! I too had a lightbulb moment, but not until my fella was 3.5. Well done to you for picking up on it so early. Like you, I think at some level I always knew he was different, but as they say de Nile is not just a river in Egypt. I know exactly what you mean about the "he's a boy" comments. To be honest, I would have been one of these folks myself in the past. Keep blogging. Trish x

MommyToTwoBoys said...

I had not gone back to your old posts, but clicked the link in your post from yesterday and am so glad I did. I love your story, thank you for sharing. Once again, how similar we are. Going through all of it with another little to worry about too. And "knowing" all the signs were there.

The Henrys said...

Jen, I have never gone back and read the beginning of your blog. I'm so glad that you started your Blog Gems and allowed this to happen!

Beautiful post, and I love how you refer to your realizations as fax messages!

LinzW1976 said...

I never came this far back either! This is beautiful, thank you for sharing Jen :) xxx

TheMadHouse said...

What an amaszing emotional post, Thank you for sharing, Jen

MommyToTwoBoys said...

I would leave a beautiful heartfelt comment, but I guess I already did about a year ago! Love you Jen!

4timesblessed said...

This is spectacular and I definitely can relate. It is amazing how many other conclutions we would come up with before acceptance that there was an issue. I didn't know for a while but when I look back know with the knowledge I have it is so evident. I think our brains hold off until they think we can process it all. Wonderfully written and Thank you

Laura said...

Beautiful. What a marvelous first post. Good for you for listening to those messages. Thank you for reposting this.

life In A Pink Fibro said...

An amazing post - and your first! I can't believe it. Actually, I can, given the rest of your blog. :-)

transplantedx3 said...

Brilliant first post! I've had a few of those 'faxes' arrive in my head - the just sudden knowledge of something. I'm kinda glad I'm not the only one that happens to, - I was a bit worried about my sanity ;D I love this blog hop - it's a great way to get people involved in your whole blog - not just the current topic. Sending love & hugs to you & your family ~Amy

Looking for Blue Sky said...

I never saw this post either and it's lovely to find out how it all started :D

Trish @ Another Piece of the Puzzle said...

This is my first time joining in with the Blog Gems, and what a great idea to go back to the beginning. I wish I had had that lightbulb moment. I knew something was wrong but honestly thought it was just my own inability to be a good mama.

TherExtras said...

I have a thing for Angels, too. This internet-thing is great, huh? Otherwise, how would we have met? Barbara

Suzie @nowriggling said...

So lovely to have found this through Blog Gems. My first post was nowhere near as moving! Suzie x

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