Monthly Archives: September 2013

From “Normal” to Autistic

People sometimes ask me if we knew early on that Cameron had Autism, or whether it came later. I believe they want to know if he was born that way, or if it came after the vaccinations. 

Many people have read my book, Cameron’s Journey, but for those of you who have not, here is an answer of sorts. I hope it gives you some insight into how things progressed.

When he was born he looked and acted like every other child. He hit all of his milestones, except that he did not crawl until he was about nine months old, rather than the normal six months. 

He at all of the regular baby foods, including a range of vegetables and fruits. When he was ready to try some table foods, he ate things like small bits of turkey, corn, and potatoes. He even ate small bits of pizza. 

He was interactive, made eye contact, played with others. By all accounts, he was right on target.

Around the time that he turned eight months, or somewhere thereabouts, it was as if a switch had flipped. I could no longer gt him to eat foods with any texture. If I tried to force him, he would throw up as soon as the food touched his tongue. 

I tried everything I could think of to get him to eat regular food. I bought a food grinder, in an attempt to make the food smaller. I even tried Stage 2 baby food again. Nothing worked. 

At this point, he would only eat about five kinds of food. None of them were good for him. As a mother, it was quite disheartening to see him lacking nutrition.

When I mentioned my concerns to his regular doctor, none of us suspected Autism. He simply told me that Cameron was still gaining weight, so there was nothing to worry about. 

Cameron was, and still is, a very talkative child. The problem was, he didn’t have any of his own language. His every word and sentence was a direct quote from one of his television shows. 

He no longer played directly with other children. He did Parallel Play, which means that he played across the room from other children, but not with them. 

Cameron had an aversion to getting dirty. He would not play with things that other children like to play with. There was no finger painting or glue. 

Since we had never had an Autistic child before, we had no reason to suspect Autism. We simply thought he was quirky. 

When he went to Pre-K, they noticed the things we had noticed, including his sensitivity to loud noises. Their experience told them that he probably had a developmental disability. He would need to be tested. 

If it hadn’t been for the Teacher, aid, and Pre-K Coordinator, we would not have any answers. They convinced me to send Cameron for testing. 

After extensive testing, and retesting, the results were in. He had a high-functioning form of Autism, called Asperger’s Syndrome.

I don’t have any definitive answers as to why this happened to us, or happens to others. I only know that having a definite diagnosis gave us a direction in which to go.

I have always thought that there is no “cure” for Autism, but lately I’m changing my mind a bit at a time. Maybe we can bring him out the other side of this. If we can, I intend to put in my very best effort, as I always have. 

We don’t always have the answers, and others tend to judge us without having all of the facts. Honestly, we Autism Parents are doing the best that we can do. We are learning as we go. None of this has happened because we failed to try everything.