I yelled out his name and no answer. I had read my high school friend experience with autism. Her son was diagnosed and I often read on her trial and errors on what she needed to do to reach her son. My heart felt weak because I knew something wasn’t right.
Ryan is a miracle. He came at a time I was told I was unable to conceive. When I found out I was pregnant I was beside myself. “God had mercy on me and granted me my heart’s desire.”
It wasn’t an easy pregnancy. I had a “lazy” womb and was on hormones for the first trimester. I had to insert those bad boys every night before bed. I was determined to have this child. Ryan was born at 36 ½ weeks via C-section due to a previous surgery I had that compromised my pregnancy term.
I will never forget the day I knew he had autism. He was playing with his toys when all of a sudden he was screaming and throwing what I thought was a tantrum at the time. Something was different about this tantrum. He was sweating and throwing his body onto the wall, floor and sofas. I prayed so hard because the face I was looking at was NOT my sweet boy. He was confused, mumbling, disheveled and in pain.
This continued a few more times. I would yell out his name, “Ryan… Ryan… Ryan!” but no answer. No eye contact. He was walking on his tippy toes most of the time. He did not want to eat anything except chicken nuggets and yogurt.
I made the call to his Pediatrician. I told her my concerns and she made an appointment with the neurologist and the behavioral specialist at the hospital. After some interaction with the doctor and his team, the doctor turned to me and Dad and said,” What do you think he has?”. The words “He has autism” just came out of my mouth as if it was waiting to be released into existence, into MY existence. The doctor told me what Ryan needed in order for him to be a productive and self-sufficient individual.
As the weeks went by, I scheduled appointments with his therapist for home visits and eventually school visits. As time went by, I switched Ryan from his daycare into programs that met his needs. It was hard. Things were hard. MY life was HARD. You ever endure so much in life that when you finally get what you have wished for it turns out to be a “God, you just couldn’t give me this one thing” moment. I may sound horrible, but if you walked in my shoes, you would understand MY “moment”.
Early intervention resources and IEP’s became my bible and my son’s diagnosis became a journey. God gave me my heart’s desire. He sent us, his father and I, such an AMAZING little person. Every milestone, reminds me of how far he has come. He TALKS to me. We talk about school, his favorite thing to do, places he wants to see and how much he loves his mommy, daddy, sister and dog. He is NOT his diagnosis, he is just Ryan our miracle!
Contributing writer: Regla Perez