Last week, I started a short series of newsletters, which will discuss how we helped Ian manage his autism challenges when he was younger. I did an overview of what research says are the three variables play a significant role in determining future outcomes: the IQ starting point, parents, and therapy. The next few of newsletters will focus on parents. First let me start at the beginning.
When my kid was two, he stopped following the stages of development in the parenting manuals. Instead of lisping basic words for mama and juice — moments that would be captured in adorable home movies and shared on social media — Ian screamed. He screamed a lot.
We were terribly confused, because he progressed rather normally up until then, walking when other kids walked and eating when other kids ate. My mother and the aunties told me not to worry, because smart kids always talked late. He would catch up, they assured me. But after three years of speech therapy and my own home-spun efforts, he still wasn’t a fabulous talker, and other problems raised their head. At five, we brought him to a neurologist, who watched him read the small print on the side of a water bottle. She asked us, “has anybody ever used the word ‘autism’ with you before?”