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My son, Christian, exhibited one of the classic early signs of autism. At 18 months he completely stopped saying words. At age 2, I began making his pediatrician aware of the situation. Everyone told me to wait and by age four lif he wasn't talking then we would do more tests.
Long story short, I paid for my own speech pathologist to diagnose him at 2 and once he was diagnosed with a speech problem, the State of Texas took over his education and at 3 he was allowed to start school. He still wasn't diagnosed until with Autism until I went to his school and had them test him at age 7.
Now at age 12 he has a very mild form of autism (Aspbergers). As a nurse I have educated myself on Autism and constantly keep him involved in sports and around other children. I work with him on eye contact and conversations. He still has some problems, but they are so mild compared to what could have happened had interventions not started before age 4.
Autism was still so new and confusing to doctors when Christian stopped talking that it wasn't being diagnosed properly. I work with several people who children weren't diagnosed early enough before age 4 and they have more serious forms of autism. The earlier the learning interventions for autism are started before 4, the better the chances of recovery. Christian wasn't even properly diagnosed with Autism at 2, but the cognitive interventions still helped him get better.
I wasn't didn't become a nurse until after Christian was diagnosed. Back then I was just a mother who instincts told her something was wrong. I am thankful I followed them. My son makes me feel so blessed.
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