One question I get asked a lot is:
How did you know that he’s autistic?
Honestly? I just knew. I tried to put it down to him being laid back and maybe a bit lazy (boys do generally develop at a slower pace than girls). He never really babbled, didn’t seem to know his name and we never had any issues with separation anxiety. The big worry came when his friends were saying their first words and Owen was calling a cup a caggy and a dog an addy.
I’m a teacher – I know we aren’t supposed to compare children with each other but there comes a time when you need to see what is ‘normal’ so you can judge whether or not your concerns are justified.
I remember watching him in ‘Café Rouge’ (where else would I take my one year old for lunch?!) as he crossed and uncrossed his fingers over and over again and willing him not to do it! It was a sign I remembered reading about and I knew he wasn’t keeping them crossed for a win on the lottery.
Owen was never really interested in toys. He won some stacking rings in a game of ‘pass the parcel’ at a first birthday party and I knew he wouldn’t play with them! What did he keep with him during his four night stay on the children’s ward when he was two? A glasses case.
He didn’t crawl until he was 11 months and didn’t walk until 17 months.
‘Dr Google’ confirmed time and time again that my suspicions were correct and as a Mum I knew what was wrong!
One health visitor said that Owen was absolutely not autistic because he looked at her and smiled when she called his name. Thank goodness that my lovely health visitor and now good friend listened at his 2.5 check and got the ball rolling for us.
Although sometimes I do still think he’s just being a lazy toad.
Remember these are Owen’s first signs and symptoms. A comprehensive list can be found here: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Autistic-spectrum-disorder/Pages/Symptoms.aspx