What The First Three Years of Autism Is Like

Gavin is three years old now. We have met a lot of really great teachers, therapists, advisors, and doctors during the past two years when we first understood that something was different with Gavin’s development. Most everyone has truly been kind, compassionate and very interested in helping Gavin. There have only been a few people who just did not strike me as truly kind and didn’t vibe with me. So they aren’t part of our life any longer. But really I feel like I have been explaining the same things over and over to everyone I have met. I meet with teachers for early intervention. Then there’s a new teacher I have to meet because the other is leaving. Then I have to go to a school to have Gavin evaluated again like last year and meet completely new people again and explain the traits he has. Then I have the autism diagnosis and meet many people before the appointment, during the appointment, and after. Everyone is told the same things again. Does he point? Does he pretend? Does he have any words? Can he walk down stairs? They then type up documents about Gavin that again all say the same thing. They say he needs speech therapy, maybe ABA therapy, maybe to change his diet, maybe to have a pediatrician that specializes in autism, maybe to have a naturopath who knows about autism, maybe to have a DAN doctor because that means “Defeat Autism Now”, or maybe go these support groups, or go to this center, or play at community centers, or go to a parent meeting, or do occupational therapy, or physical therapy. Or maybe just go crazy, silently, while trying to figure it all out before you run out of time when he is five because everyone says if you help them by five, then the outcome of their speech and learning will be so much better. My time is always slowly dripping through the clock. In the last two years we received a lot of help and a lot of advice but nothing was huge. Nothing truly made a difference yet. Nothing was the answer. The answer is not here yet.

When we finally got through the waitlist for the medical autism diagnosis, we were sure they would say he has autism. It was not a surprise. But it certainly felt more real to hear it that way. I remember posting on Facebook about it. I didn’t talk very much about Gavin’s autism at first. I was hoping it would just go away. But when I posted, many of our friends sent such wonderful messages. And some people I knew or worked with before had children with autism too. I wish I had the time to talk to all of them and update constantly on how their kids are doing, and to talk about what is working and what is not. It is still a priority for me to do that at least a few times a year. I haven’t forgotten all of their kind words but I know they also understand that I am busy. I know they are too.

Gavin has been on and off the gluten free diet and casein free diet. He suffered through a blood test. It was an igg panel which his natoropath believes in but many others apparently think is not accurate at all. (So now I need to get a real allergist involved in all of this, they say.) So we found out he is “allergic” to dairy, almonds, gluten. He eats gluten free oatmeal and cashew yogurt right now but we still give him things he loves like Goldfish and croissants because we feel terrible he is eating this awful food. But we are off dairy. I feel like it’s making a difference this time but it has only been about a month now of that. He is making more random sounds like like bah and dah and is happier and more calm. I will try to stop giving him different suplements all at once and randomly so I can figure otu what is helping and what is not. That is my main goal this year. I think.

But then there is the “inappropriate laughing” that could mean he has a yeast overgrowth. The way he touches his eyes sometimes could mean he has “crystals in his eyes” and that’s a sign of a calcium deficiency.