Thursday, April 2, 2009

Autism Awareness Day

Today is Autism Awareness Day. April is also Autism Awareness month in case you didn't know. I thought I would just share some of my thoughts about the road of 'autism' we have traveled.

I am including some pictures of Trevor through the years as well.

Before Trevor was born, I didn't know much about Autism and I didn't know anyone personally that had it. I honestly had no idea of the signs or symptoms. As many of you know he was born 4 weeks early, so when he wasn't hitting his milestones on time it was just passed off as a little behind with prematurity. As he got older and things like speech and language didn't come along, we knew something was wrong. We had a wonderful pediatrician who sent us to Early Intervention at 17m to get an evaluation done. He came back delayed enough to begin speech therapy. By the time he was 2, it was clear that there was more than just a speech delay going on, and this is when the possibility of autism began. By age 3, I was 100% sure that is what he had, but it wasn't until right before his 4th birthday he was officially diagnosed. He also began the Northern Utah Autism Program the fall of 2006. He had done amazing with the help he has recieved and I don't even want to think about where we would be without all his therapy.

Being a parent of a child with autism has been a challenge, but very rewarding. I think we celebrate milestones more than most parents do, simply because we never know when, or if he will really be able to accomplish the goals.

It's been a long and bumpy road, with some early health scares and bad allergy issues, but we made it through just fine.

We have amazing family that has accepted Trevor for who he is, not what he should be. We have been on family vacations in which they probably got frustrated, but were very understanding anyway. They are wonderful!

Trevor really is an amazing little guy who has come so far in his short (almost) 7 years. He tries very hard and works at making his way in a world that is not easy for him to deal with. He has a determination that I hope he never loses.

On this day of Autism Awareness, I hope you all may pause and think about how often Autism is being diagnosed. One in 150 kids have autism. So next time you see a child acting out or screaming at the store, consider that the child may have autism and is very overwhelmed. I wish that every child being diagnosed had the same opportunities that Trevor has had to succeed.
And if you are still reading this, thank you for all your kind support and love for our family. We have some rockin' friends and family!


Tanya said...

awww....what a great kid, and he has a great family to help him! Plus he's adorable! :)

I'm so glad he was able to get needed help. I'm happy for you to live here where you can get help.

Plus in a strange way, I'm glad I know you so that I can be more empathetic to others who have these same issues in their family. Thanks!!!

Chantel and Brian said...

That's what family is for sister! I love that little boy!

Ashley said...

Thank you for the great info! He is a cutie.

Desiree and Lars said...

Awesome post Melissa. That is a great reminder not to judge children that are acting out or their parents either. Trevor is pretty amazing for being able to get through it all. What a special kid

Heidi said...

Your son is so handsome! Thanks for helping the uneducated people like me know a little more about autism.

Kristyn said...

What a sweetie! I'm glad you commmented on my blog. Mason goes to Canyon View but, he is not part of NUAP. He is part of a program called Partners for Success. It is 1:1 teacher/child ratio all day long. They also have group activitites and things like that, but he always has a teacher just for him. It is AWESOME!