My story with autism begins when I saw that my son was not developing like other children. Italo was close to two years old when I noticed the first signs, but I still wasn’t sure what was truly happening. Whenever I spoke to my son, I felt he was not attentive and did not listen or respond the way I expected. Soon after noticing his behavior, I made an appointment to see his pediatrician. At our doctor’s visit, I was told children develop differently and it was normal for first borns to reach milestones at a slower pace.
The doctor told me not to worry. But my mother’s instinct told me that something was not right.
As time went on, I continued noticing more things that made me wonder if there was something else going on with Italo. However, I tried to trust the pediatrician’s words. After all, the things I noticed seemed small. When my son was around 3 years old, I became pregnant with my second baby. I made an appointment for my prenatal care and was also able to see a new pediatrician for my son’s check up.
This visit was different; all my feelings and instincts were affirmed.
Five minutes into the consultation, the new pediatrician told me she suspected my son had autism, and since I was pregnant, there was an 80% probability my unborn child would be autistic as well. I asked if I could have a test done that would detect abnormalities, however, I ultimately declined because I was afraid it would harm my unborn child. At that time my focus was getting help for my three year old son Italo.
My toddler was referred to more tests and screenings. This process confirmed my initial suspicions; Italo was diagnosed with autism before his fourth birthday. I still wish he would have been diagnosed earlier, so I could have gotten help and support.
Later that year I gave birth to my new baby boy, Patricio. While learning so much with my older son’s diagnosis, I ended up having my younger son assessed when he was 20 months old. This is when I found out he was also Autisitc.
I remember looking the specialist in the eye, and asking, how are we going to move forward?
Since finding out, my goal as a mom is to advocate for them and find resources that will give them the opportunity to excel in life!
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