As members of the ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) family with my 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.
My first indication something was different with my 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 my 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.
I 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.
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, I was able to have Zane officially diagnosed with ASD at the end of September. I 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?)
Zane started his Speech Therapy in September of 2011 and ABA Therapy in January 2012.
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 $40,000-$60,000 and upwards per year. In British Columbia, 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! I am dedicated to ensuring that Zane receives the help he needs to grow and learn to his fullest potential.
Behind The Smile