I want to talk a little about Andrew this week in honor of his upcoming birthday!
I get asked often about what were the first signs in the boys that I noticed. Both boys were completely different babies and displayed signs of autism at different ages. Andrew was such a happy baby and toddler. Therefore, one of his first signs was when he suddenly stopped smiling and greeting me when I would get home. Around 20-22 months of age, Andrew really got sucked into his own world. He didn't care about who came home.....he didn't respond to his name....he just was in his own world. The picture below is a very typical picture of Andrew from 22 months of age-27 months of age. He would not look at a camera and smile. He used to love to smile for the camera too and it suddenly disappeared. He soon became obsessed with stickers and placing them on top of each other on his shirt.
Shortly after Andrew was diagnosed with autism and started therapy, he made huge improvements. Andrew responded and still responds fantastic to therapy.
I am so proud of him and his huge improvements that he has made the past 2 1/2 years. I honestly don't think Andrew would be where he is today if it wasn't for being so proactive and catching his signs immediately and getting him the early on therapies that he needed.
The one therapy that was the best for him was Applied Behavior Analysis. Andrew immediately started to make huge improvements once he started this type of therapy at Harsha Autism Center in Terre Haute. He responded well to it and worked with some of the best therapist that we have ever met.
Now, he smiles great for the camera. He stopped making lines but has recently started again but he sleeps great at night!!!
If I could give any advice tonight it would be to NOT deny what is going on with your child. Get them diagnosed and start therapies as soon as possible. I really do believe that it can make a world of difference in your child. The sooner you get them the help that they need, the better they will be able to cope with their autism.