February 2015, after a series of tests and sessions it was finally diagnosed and declared that my son is Autistic. The worst and saddest part is once autistic always autistic. As parents our hearts sank. “Why it happened to us?” is the only question that disturbed our peace of mind.
Going further down the memory lane I have a two year old kid who won’t respond to his name, won’t socialize with anyone around, won’t understand the simple instructions, have a peculiar way of playing with toys, and most importantly have no verbal communication. At first I simply thought kids prefer to live in their own bubble till they step out of their kingdom or domain called home.
At two and a half years he started going to school. At this point I must admit he has never been fussy when it comes to going to school, I am fortunate on that note :). I was waiting for things to change. But my hopes were slashed. After six months he is still the same – all alone among everyone (unattached, unaffected by the world around). What would be more painful for a mother than to have not heard word “maa” (mother) from her child and my son is five years now. My heart still yearns for that word.
I started my quest to see if anyone else is sailing in the same boat with me. There are many alike me. And all those characteristics mentioned above are a part of developmental disorder called “Autism”. My heart didn’t want to give up to the very idea of my son being autistic. I was hoping against hope that it is a temporary phase and he would soon start speaking and interacting with people around.
When I realised it didn’t happen I persuaded my husband that we should go for a medical opinion and soon it was established that my fear is here to stay as a reality. We informed the same to the school authorities. They clearly said they won’t have him in next academic session as they are not equipped with specialized trained teachers for autism and kids with such issues needs special attention which was not possible in a general school. The fear loomed still larger given the fact that Brussels doesn’t house many specialized schools and the few options we had were full and the waiting could be longer.
My mind was blank as to how shall I make my kid sit at home in case he doesn’t get a place in any organization to take care of his special needs. I have seen him at home, agitated and frustrated after a certain point of time just because he don’t know what to do and more because he can’t express himself. We still have such sessions of anger bouts at home. To make things worse I used to loose cool sometimes only to feel guilty later. And to wait without certainty made me numb. I even broke into tears during one of my meetings with the hospital officials, my pleadings were just little less than begging. You can imagine the state of my mind when I used to see my kid unattended at school. There were days when my son used to return home with spoiled diapers intact for a long time. I don’t blame teachers as my son was unable to communicate. I badly needed a place for my son where he would be taken care of and respected as any other normal child. We tried to register our son with different organizations which take care of children with issues like autism so that at least one option works for us.
It did at last! 🙂
My ray of hope shone on me when a place was confirmed for my son in the day care hospital where he would be attended and trained for coming months till he graduates to the next level (till he goes to school). I simply can’t express my gratitude, my happiness. That feeling was out of the world to know that finally my kid will stand a chance.
And my hope breathed again. In the span of one year (September, 2015 – September, 2016) my son showed lot of improvement in terms of autonomy and communication (though with pics only). Now he has started going to the specialized school and we do hope for much more improvement in the future. I hope to see him getting a degree someday and talk to me about his feelings 🙂
But I must admit that among the dark phases of life God has shown some silver linings, a hope to hold on. My son is physically able, have exceptional memory power, knows alphabets, numbers, rhymes, animals, colors, food items (he can point out them verbally but at his will only), once habituated to regimes can follow religiously and of course have a very loving and caring sister (just 18 months old but her love for him is so evident). And it is surely something to be hopeful and happy about.