When my son, Rory, was almost eighteen months, he had no intentional words, yet he could point to a letter and tell me its name. My husband and I had suspected for some time that our amazing little boy was not typical, but we held off on the doctor’s referral to Early Intervention services because we wanted to give him a little bit of time. At eighteen months, we finally took him in for an evaluation and discovered that along with the language delay we knew about, he had several other differences. Those differences would eventually be diagnosed as autism when he was two years and nine months old.
Well before we knew it was autism, Early Intervention was there for us. They validated our fears, and let us know that it would be all right. Our service provider swept into our lives full of knowledge and strategies to help us understand how to communicate with Rory, who often seemed unable to hear us, and how to encourage him to communicate with us. She walked us through the sensory profile when we began to suspect Sensory Processing Disorder. She helped us come up with ideas on how to keep our little runner safe. She helped us learn how to support his efforts to play with other children, and when we started to realize that all his symptoms added up to autism, she helped us find resources on autism and how to get him diagnosed.
Rory is 3.5 years old now, and he is thriving in his Early Childhood Special Education classes. He is showing a strong and natural aptitude for mathematics and reading. One year ago, we worried about going out into crowded places because he would break away from us and never once look back to see if we were following. One year ago, we couldn’t go to story time, sit at a restaurant, or really anything that involved remaining peacefully in one place. One year ago, we could not even sing around our son without him crying. Early Intervention has been life altering for our family, and because of the their hard work and ours (especially Rory’s), we have no doubt that our son will be able to go to school with typical peers and use his amazing brain to make a difference in the world.