BehindTheSmile.ca is a site dedicated to Zane Wootton who was diagnosed at 2 1/2 years of age, with moderate to severe Autism Spectrum Disorder. We hope to gather support and are also dedicated to spreading awareness of ASD, endorse research of ASD and walk with other families going on this same journey.
As new members of the ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) family with our son’s recent diagnosis, I thought it would be good to start a blog to share our journey. By sharing our journey, I hope to encourage others joining us on this path of challenges and celebrations.
Our first indication something was different with our Zane was that his speech was delayed. The public health nurse noticed this during a home visit after bringing our premature daughter Piper home after 3 weeks in the NICU. I hadn’t picked up on the speech delay with Zane as I had been unable to take care of him and see his day to day growth and change due to being on strict bedrest for 3 months before our daughter was born.
We had Zane assessed by a Speech Therapist a couple months later to start the process of getting on the year long wait list for actual therapy to begin. She noted that he was “At Risk for Social Communication Issues” which I thought meant speech delay. Little did I know this actually means “At Risk for Autism”. I’ve never had any experience with anyone with Autism so I was a little naive as to the lingo that was used.
We went on to have his hearing checked. Passed with flying colors. Hurray!
One day in July I was watching a program on TV and the topic was Autism. I didn’t think much of it, as I was beetling around the living room cleaning as the kids were napping. Then it happened. They started listing the signs and symptoms of Autism that you should look for … my jaw dropped and I KNEW, that is what has caused Zane’s speech delay. It explained him to a “T” or “Z” ;0).
After feeling so thankful for finally figuring out why, it quickly changed to anguish. I ran to the bathroom and had to spend a few minutes over the toilet as the only thing I could manage to do was cry and dry heave. My heart broke as it has never broke before. I didn’t need a doctor to confirm it. I KNEW this was it.
It took me about a week to accept it. I cried and cried and cried.
And then, after countless prayers and tears and pleading to God for the strength to get through this, I felt a power within to fight.
I turned into a super internet searching machine momma!! Everything and anything, bring it!! I finally felt like THIS was my job to do here. I can handle this, I can DO something about this and make a difference in my son’s life and hopefully many others.
After much research, and countless phone calls, emails and doctors appointments, we were able to have Zane officially diagnosed with ASD at the end of September. We went the private route as I’m still waiting to hear back just how long the waitlist is to go through the public system. (Brutal much?)
We are now at the point of starting his therapies.
For a child diagnosed with ASD, an ideal therapy program can range from 25-40 hours of intervention a week, depending on the child. This can cost anywhere from about $30,000-$60,000 and upwards per year. The government assists by giving $22,000 per year towards the child’s treatments and some materials, but even if you aren’t awesome at doing math, it’s not hard to see that there are a whole bunch more funds that are needed to fulfill an ideal program! We need to get our Zane the help he needs to grow and learn to his fullest potential!
We humbly ask for your help, if you are moved to do so. If a prayer or good wish is what you are able to give, we accept those with open arms.
We have provided 3 recipients to help support those with ASD:
- Behind The Smile: Zane’s Family to help pay for the expenses for Zane’s therapies and materials
- CAN (Canucks Autism Network) Non-Profit
- ACT (Autism Community Training) Non-Profit
The Behind The Smile song that Lantana has so graciously written to support and help spread Autism awareness is now available for download here!
Please help us and share this beautiful song!