What You Should Know About Early Intervention

 

The other day, I was speaking with an early childhood educator about toddlers who begin to exhibit signs of Autism and how hard it can be to navigate the waters of talking to the parents. I remember all too well, the first time Caleb’s preschool teacher asked me if he had been diagnosed with any developmental delays. She was very kind and tactful and handed me a packet for TEIS.

At that point, we were beginning to notice some small things. Caleb lost his vocabulary, stopped making eye contact, and really loved to watch spinning wheels. He also was very sensitive to different food textures and wouldn’t eat many foods that most kids would. He would also “script” (I didn’t know what it was called at the time), which is where a phrase is repeated verbatim, often over and over.

I would google Autism, and read all of the things, and still not feel like I had a clue of what was going on. One minute I was convinced it was Autism, the next minute I was convinced it wasn’t. After some urging from my mom and sister in law, I finally took him to the doctor. The doctor really mostly dismissed my concerns, and said we should try speech therapy.

I can’t even begin to tell you how relieved I was to hear that. 

But, the doctor was wrong , and I am so grateful that I had friends and family who said so! As hard as it was to hear at the time, it was exactly what I needed. See sometimes we make something out to be so big and bad that we can’t really see the end game.

If I had refused to believe that my son had Autism and refused to get him any services, I would have been doing him such a disservice. 

Caleb has been in therapy since he was two years old, and has made so much progress beyond what I could have imagined. He started with just speech therapy, and has had feeding, occupational, and physical therapy. He currently has an IEP and receives services in school as well as private therapy.

I cannot imagine where we would be had we not began early and gotten Caleb the help that he needed. 

It is really scary and intimidating when you think that your child might have Autism. I agonized and mourned some when I realized that Caleb did, in fact have Autism. But I am here to tell you that it is not the end of the world, and that you will find that it is actually opening you up to a whole other world you would have never experienced otherwise. That isn’t to say that it is always easy, it can often be frustrating and difficult. But at some point, I accepted my new normal and stopped worrying so much about my son.

We take it one day at a time, one year at a time, one challenge at a time , and one phase of life at a time. Each year will bring new obstacles, but we will keep finding ways around them like we always have. And so will you.

If you are a parent of a child who you may be feeling some concern over their development, here is a place to start : https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/concerned.html

https://www.autismspeaks.org/about-us/press-releases/early-intervention-toddlers-autism-highly-effective-study-finds

If you have a child with Autism, and would like to share your story please contact me at leslie@leslieslittlecorner.com

 

 

My Word – Grateful Tuesdays

 

For the last few years I have had many friends talk about what their word for the year was. I have always loved the idea of having a word for the year, but I have never bothered to actually do it. This year, I have a word and truth is I sort of came upon it by accident a couple of weeks ago.

These last few months have been a little difficult for Josh and I. We had some things happen that set us back a bit in the fall. So needless to say, we have both really struggled with the why’s of it all. It has been very frustrating and made us wonder if we will ever achieve the goals we have set. Mostly, it has brought on a great feeling of dissatisfaction with our lives right now. To be completely honest, I just feel so tired of feeling this way and allowing life’s struggles to make me feel this way.

I think where this all started for me was on Christmas Eve. Josh and I were up late wrapping the Christmas presents, and I remember worrying that we didn’t get enough for the kids. I imagined their disappointed faces when they saw that there wasn’t quite as much under the tree this year. I went to bed that night hoping that they just wouldn’t notice.

All of my fears and worries were completely put to rest the next morning when (at 7 am, I finally gave in after telling Caleb to go back to sleep at least 5 times since 4 am) all of the kids were really excited about their presents. There were oohs and ahhs even coming from the two tired teenagers. They were grateful for what we had been able to give them, and not disappointed at all. As I watched them open and smile, it just really warmed my heart and I wondered why I had ever been so stressed out in the first place.

That evening, I really began to wonder what my life would be like if I started being more intentionally grateful in my daily life. Instead of focusing on all of the things that aren’t going the way I had hoped, what would happen if I spent more time being grateful for the things that are going right? Right now, I don’t know exactly what that looks like, but I hope with every week I can come here and tell you stories of how it has made an impact in my life.

These last weeks have been very frustrating and stressful. However, I was able to think of some things that I am very grateful for this week.

  1. I am grateful for my family.
  2. I am grateful to have a home and heat, especially right now during this cold spell. I am reminding myself that there are many who don’t.
  3. I am grateful that I have the opportunity to finish my degree. (And excited about finally getting it done in the next year and a half.

So instead of ending up with just one word this year, I ended up with a phrase: Live Life Intentionally Grateful”

We’ll see how this goes…

 

P.S. I created a free printable journal if you would like to follow along with me during this journey. Scroll down and look to the right. Enter your email address and click both sign up and subscribe. You will be signed up for my newsletter and receive your free journal. (And don’t worry, I promise not to email you constantly!)